Everyone’s Welcome: Jair’s Story

by Kevin Bechtel
Network Support Team

Ruby Cristino found her son, Jair, who has special needs, to be in a very restrictive environment at the first school he attended. Most of his time was spent in a separate room dedicated to teaching students with special needs — he was allowed only one hour a day to spend with his other classmates.

In first grade, Ruby decided Jair should be in a more inclusive and welcoming environment. After talking to her cousin, whose child was attending a Rocketship school, Ruby enrolled Jair at Mosaic Elementary. Since then, Ruby has seen big changes in her son.  Most significant, he’s opened up socially.

The move hasn’t only benefitted Jair. Ruby and her husband have also learned how they can better support Jair, who doesn’t like to read but could certainly benefit from additional practice.

Ruby and her husband only speak Spanish. With the encouragement of Jair’s teacher, they learned that it was beneficial to read to him in either English or Spanish. Now, as a family, they read together – Ruby and her husband take turns each night working with Jair. The idea is to make it a habit so Jair gets into a routine. Jair particularly likes books about planets and animals. Ruby finds that books with detailed pictures to help Jair recognize words in both English and Spanish.

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