Something I’m Grateful For.
Linwood is a historic school and residential program in Ellicott City, Maryland. It was founded in 1955 by a Dutch therapist named Jeanne Simmons. Dr. Leo Kanner conducted his early research at Linwood. (If you recall, Dr. Kanner identified and named “early infantile autism”.) In 1965 Dr. Charles Ferster, a University professor and researcher, obtained a federal grant to conduct research on behavior modification. He developed the Linwwod Project, which analyzed the methods used, translated them into objective behavioral language, and defined the “Linwood method”.
My nephew, Stephen, had autism and was enrolled at Linwood throughout most of his childhood and his young adulthood. My sister used the “Linwood method” and shared her knowledge with me. It involved following the children and looking for the reasoning behind behaviors. Power struggles were avoided, strong motivators were employed, and positive emotional support was always provided. As a young special education teacher, this knowledge came in handy. But it was a few years later that I really needed it. My son, Jared, has autism, and I thank my lucky stars every single day that I learned positive ways of dealing with his behaviors. Thanks ever so much, Linwood! For more info, visit: LinwoodCenter.org.
By Colleen Selfridge.