Zac is a 20-year-old college freshman at San Antonio College. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and anxiety and mood disorders. He struggles with all things relating to executive functioning - planning, time management, initiating and completing projects, homework, etc. Zachary has a joyful enthusiasm and sense of humor that are quickly contagious. He loves being 'the host with the most' and the center of attention - wanting everyone to join in the fun. Zachary uses the distractedness that comes with ADHD to manage the volatility of his emotions, often watching videos to calm him when he is emotional. He also loves a good play on words, and rolling his eyes at puns and terrible jokes. He wants to be the world's best accountant, and possibly a comedian on the side!
Zac has been a Starfish student for almost 2 years. He has volunteered with our younger students at summer camp and he is a great leader in our adult group, always making an effort to engage students who are less outgoing. He has made a lot of progress with his ability to be flexible and understanding the perspective of others.
Zachary's thoughts about Starfish Social Club - I've made good friends and it is fun in many ways. I feel like I have Ms. Stephanie who I can talk to when something important happens and I feel down.
From Mom & Dad - We love that Zac has made friends in a safe space that are going through the same things he is as a young adult with special needs learning to find his place in the world around him. It meant the world to us when he was feeling emotional about his grandfather passing away, that of all the people he had to talk to, he reached out on his own to Ms. Stephanie. We've seen our son grow in great ways as the group grows, and count on him continuing to stay with this awesome group of young adults led by Ms. Stephanie!
Bruno is a 13-year-old student in 7th grade. He has autism and ADHD. Bruno struggles with communicating effectively and making connections with peers his age. He is very friendly and helpful toward both adults and students. He also has a great memory and strong attention to detail. He can’t wait to get his drivers license and would like to make robots to help him clean his room!
Bruno has been a Starfish student for over a year. He has made significant progress in his ability to keep his brain in the group and follow the group plan. He is doing really well with learning to keep thoughts and scripts in his brain. He attends lots of extra activities with Starfish Social Club, like tween nights at the YMCA, game nights, and Lego building at the Botanical Gardens.
Family feedback: Bruno loves going to Starfish and looks forward to meeting with his group every week. He has grown emotionally and socially. He is able to communicate better with us and has made connections with other kids in school. He is becoming more confident and able to make conversations with other kids.
Tariq is a 13-year-old student in 8th grade at JSTEM Academy. He has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, dysgraphia, and anxiety. He struggles with social skills, executive functioning skills, perspective-taking, and organization. Tariq excels in math, has a great sense of humor, and knows a lot about video games, including the year each version of each game system was introduced! He had the opportunity to be a manager for his school's basketball team last year. He hopes to become a computer engineer and is supported by his mom, Taqwa, as well as his older siblings Idris, Atiyah, and Siddiqah.
Tariq has been a Starfish student for almost 2 years and has made huge progress related to perspective-taking, flexible thinking and emotional regulation. He loves game time and prefers to play games that are mentally challenging. He also attends many outside activities with Starfish Social Club, like LEGO building, preteen night at YMCA, and Altitude Trampoline Park.
Noah is a 9-year-old 3rd grader. He struggles with making friends, asking for help, perspective-taking, and participating in group activities with same-age peers. Noah is very outgoing with adults and peers with whom he is familiar. He enjoys helping teachers and peers and is empathetic towards others. Noah loves visiting the ocean and the aquarium. He helped make Christmas cookies for the first time recently! He has mentioned wanting to be a veterinarian and a pilot and has recently shown an interest in large vehicles. Noah is supported by his mom and dad, gramma and her pup, as well as extended family in New Mexico and Minnesota.
Noah has been a Starfish student for a year and a half and has made significant progress with expected behaviors, perspective-taking, and group behaviors. This has allowed him to have play dates with other Starfish students as well as increased his ability to participate in school activities. When asked what he likes most about Starfish Social Club, he stated he likes playing games and that Ms. Stephanie is always there to take care of him! Noah also attends many outside activities with Starfish Social Club, like the DoSeum, the San Antonio Zoo, and Hemisfair Park.