During his time at Parkway West High School, Joseph Fisch has made great strides in his academics, communication, independent living skills and vocational training and employment skills. He receives deaf/hard of hearing services as well as social-emotional and speech-language services, and he’s worked hard to show he’s ready for the next steps of his future.
When Joseph first arrived at Parkway West, staff were not sure what to expect from him. But he quickly showed them that he has a vigor for learning and making connections in his education. He is able to pick up complex vocabulary and correctly identifies terms independently in conversations. He relates lessons to things in his life and independently researches topics of interest to him. He enjoys writing stories and role-playing them or reading through them with staff.
In the last few years, Joseph has advanced from communicating with only superficial responses and low levels of engagement to now actively seeking out staff to make sincere efforts to convey his thoughts and feelings with people. He uses a mixture of American Sign Language, written English, pictures, gestures and role-playing to interact and communicate. His determination to share his thoughts and feelings inspires his peers who try to engage with him and gain a deeper understanding of individuals with autism.
Joseph is a quick learner when it comes to independence skills. He has learned to cook several dishes and once he is familiar with his environment, he can independently navigate to where he needs to go. He keeps himself entertained and busy by reading, drawing, watching videos and writing stories.
Lastly, Joseph is working toward employment readiness by demonstrating exceptional growth in his ability to initiate and complete tasks. He has proven to be an excellent worker, completing work tasks with a checklist and one prompt, and never hesitates to learn a task, learn names or respect others. He has participated in the school’s coffee cart program and is an excellent role model for his peers when it comes to working with money, cleaning and working independently.