Jareth-Atticus (J.A.) Lingle is on his way to attend school in Austin! The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) has accepted J.A. as a full time student this school year.
This summer, J. A. attended the W.A.L.I.C. program (Working and Living in the Community) at the TSBVI. The four week program provided community work training skills for students who are visually impaired with additional disabilities. In addition to job skills, the students received intensive instruction in the skills of independent living. It was a fun time and good preparation for the work ahead of him as a full time student.
J. A. was assigned to work in the Capital Area Food Bank, just one of several places for W.A.L.I.C. student employment. The students were paid for their work, taught to pay bills and budget for recreation which was enjoyed at the end of each week.
J. A. has earned excellent grades attending Mason schools since his second grade where he regularly received special instruction, including multiple therapies. Being in Special Ed, he will pursue his education through age 22, at which time he will graduate and receive the much coveted diploma. He has many goals and aspirations, working hard to fulfill his potential.
Although looking forward to attending his new and exciting school, he will miss the folks of Mason very much. He and his family are extremely grateful for the love and support over the years from his wonderful teachers and aides, therapists, principals, Jane Penn, Shannon Hofmann, and especially Sharon Swafford, who developed special programs for him and adapted therapies into his daily routine.
Much of the Mason community knows J. A. from his job-coached employment around town, including Hinckley's, NuWay, Zavala's, Nacho's, Mi Pueblo and the Mason Golf Course. Many people ask me about him when he isn't with me, and remark that he absolutely makes their day. They know their spirits will be raised when they see him -- literally a ray of sunshine!
"He was definitely born sunny-side up!" says his mom, Marisa Lingle, remarking on his happy disposition. He loves God, going to church, learning, playing games, music, swimming, telling jokes, but especially - people!
He will ride a bus home every weekend, continue to attend River of Life Church and collect aluminum cans to pay for his dream trip to Disney World. He has overcome and accomplished much, a bright light in our lives and in Mason County.
Not bad for a 1244 gram, 3-month premature infant many doctors said would never be more than a blind vegetable, hugh?!!