I read the obituary of Jane Lare with sadness [WJ, July 25], but as with every interaction I have had with Jane Lare since I first met her in 1989, I read it with a smile. Jane was such a gift to the students and families with whom she worked.
My son Conor had been in the District 97 Early Childhood program for three years, when I met Jane. He has autism and is severely delayed intellectually. In 1989, no one quite knew what to do about individuals with autism. For three years, I had heard what Conor couldn't do and what we should be doing better. I had come to see him as an individual without value.
Jane did the psychological evaluation for his first three-year re-evaluation. I can still see her sitting at the table. Her smile was enough to take away the sting of any negative words that might be coming. Instead, she said she wasn't going to discuss scores, but she wanted to talk about her observations and how she saw Conor solving problems and interacting with his environment. She reported with delight and that amazing smile.
My son went from a problem to a problem-solver in the space of a few minutes. I have loved Jane since that minute. I imagine that she gave the same gift to many other parents over the years.
As it turned out, each of my three sons need help through Special Education, and every time I had Jane as part of the team, I was so happy.
Thank you, Jane. I am very glad that I thanked her over and over while I still could.