She wasn’t developing like other typical kids her age. She wasn’t talking, she wasn’t socializing with peers and she wasn’t playing with toys in a typical way. Jamie was lost in a world all her own and when she started school we feared she would never interact or learn.
When she entered Kindergarten and was placed in an inclusion class with typically developing students her parents, Kim and Joe Piro, worried she wouldn’t fit in. They worried it would be too stressful for her to learn in that setting. They were right. Jamie wasn’t being included – classmates had no idea why she was so different and why she acted like she did. Jamie was too scared to be the Jamie that Kim and Joe knew at home.
So Jamie’s Mom offered to read a children’s book about autism to the class to help them understand her daughter. Once her classmates understood Jamie’s disability better, they were better able to understand how to include her in their class and when to give her space so she wasn’t scared. Jamie soon started to relax in class. Her symptoms decreased and she began to blossom.
Jamie had wonderful teachers and aides and also supportive peers who cared about her and helped her along her path of education. She started to learn and to talk and now she has developed into a confident, happy teenager. She loves school and her many friends, who voted her into Mansfield High School’s Homecoming Court in 2012 and into the Prom Court in 2014. Jamie is on a bowling team and LOVES cheering on Mansfield High School’s football, hockey and basketball teams. She loves to sing and her idol is Taylor Swift. Jamie sings the National Anthem at many events over the course of the year: The Jamie Fund 5K, Special Olympic events, and many Mansfield sporting events.