Autistic teacher praised for work with students
LEE COUNTY -The need is growing in Lee County schools for Autism-related classrooms and teachers.
Next year the school district is adding four new programs for exceptional education services at Heights Elementary, Tortuga Preserve Elementary, Harns Marsh Middle, and Challenger Middle.
Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Veterans Park Academy for the Arts in Lehigh Acres, 33-year-old Harold Price, did not have those types of services growing up.
“They just learn differently, they may need a couple extra seconds,” Price said.
“Harold learned to read very early, it’s not until he was speaking that I realized he knew how to read, that was before age 3,” Marie Price said.
Social skills were harder to grasp, but Price worked at it and eventually got his teaching license.
He also helped in his mother’s classroom at Veterans Park.
“You would think sometimes when he’s working with them, I would have already jumped in and given them the answer, he’s much better at waiting them out,” Marie said.
When an opening came up for a teacher at the school, principal Dale Houchin knew Harold would be the best fit.
“He isn’t here for anyone but the kids, he has their best interests at heart,” Houchin said.
With his personal and professional teaching materials, Harold shows his class the most important lesson he has learned.
“I do believe the kids in my class are going to be capable of a lot of things,” Harold said. “Just give us a chance, just because we learn differently doesn’t mean we are less capable.”