Experts say there are more than 3,000 people in Monroe County with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Occupational Therapist Felicia Thierer considers all of them "her kids."
Felicia works with a parent advocacy group called Upstate New York Families for Effective Autism Treatment or UNYFEAT. On behalf of all those parents we surprise Felicia with a News 8 Golden Apple Award.
Felicia works with a parent advocacy group called Upstate New York Families For Effective Autism Treatment, or UNYFEAT. On behalf of all those parents we surprise Felicia with a News 8 Golden Apple Award.
Felicia has a full time job, but volunteers a lot of her time helping the 900 parents from UNYFEAT. There are many levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Felicia says each child is unique. "It's living with something 24/7 that sometimes is so unpredictable that you don't know or have the tools to help yourself deal with some outbursts or just some sensitivities to things that we take for granted."
Parents like Ann cole say Felicia understands their children. "When a teacher has a gift with a certain ability, Felicia has this gift with sensory processing situations. She knows how to take a child with an individual situation and how to move them forward with their skills."
Gia Carroll is a parent and President of UNYFEAT. "Because Felecia is so positive. She sees the improvements the kids make and she always celebrates them."
We wanted to celebrate Felicia. we surprised her during an "Exploring Sensations" class she teaches at Zenith Academy of Gymnastics. The goal of this class is to make kids happy and give them confidence. They learn skills so they feel like they have control over their bodies.
Felecia says Moms and Dads are an important part of the team. "In order to maximize the best benefits of everything it's gotta be both at home and outside the home. So the parents need to know what they're doing, why they're doing it and when to do it."
Felicia Thierer is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read the letter we got nominating her below.
Dear News 8,
I am writing to nominate a very special Occupational Therapist for The Golden Apple Award. Felicia Thierer has been working with children with motor planning issues and sensory processing issues as part of a program under UNYFEAT, Upstate NY Families for Effective Autism Treatment.
Besides her regular hours or helping what she calls "her kids", Felicia takes time to facilitate, Exploring Sensations on her days off. This program runs at The Zenith Academy of Gymnastics and Felicia creates an individualized program for the students allowing them successful experiences to manage their sensory and motor areas of development. Children range in age from Pre-K through middle school. There are volunteers that also work in the program who Felicia trains along the way.
We at UNYFEAT feel very fortunate to have Felicia giving he special talent to these students, who would not be able to write this nomination, but will definitely agree that she is an amazing teacher and worthy of recognition of her care of "her kids".
Ann Cole, UNYFEAT