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Angel's Talk: Music as powerful teacher to children with autism

  • June 15, 2009

By Dang U. Koe
Staff Writer

Using techie gadgets and non-techie visual aids, along with their ‘favorite things’, Charles Slye teaches students with daily life skills.

In the movie classic “The Sound of Music”, Maria (played by Julie Andrews) teaches her seven wards “when you read, you begin with ABC” …by singing.

Here comes the Modern Maria. Actually, a Mario, complete with beard. He does not really sing his voice hoarse while teaching. Instead he downloads music from the internet and plays them to his wards with techie gadgets. And when he teaches them their other “favorite things” accompanied by songs, he also uses techie or non-techie visual aids.

By the way, his wards are not children of a Captain Von Trapp. They are students with autism. He teaches them not only how to read, do math, and explore sciences.

Most importantly, he teaches them life skills.

Charles Slye has been a special education teacher in San Francisco, U.S.A for the last 10 years. He teaches in a classroom specifically designed for students with autism. He earned his special education credential at San Francisco State University, and Industrial Psychology at the California State University, Hayward.

The good news: Charles is coming not just to Metro Manila. With the generosity of Autism Hearts Foundation, and the support of The Legend Hotels International and local partners like the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, Charles will be doing a series of seminar-workshops on “Using Music and Visuals in Teaching.

Academic Subjects and Life Skills to Children with Autism” in the following ASP chapters:

• June 20-21, Dasmarinas, Cavite at De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

• June 24, Los Banos, Laguna

• June 27-28, Metro Manila in Asian Social Institute

• July 4-5, Baguio City

• July 11-12, Cebu City

• July 18, Clark, Pampanga.

Angels Talk interviewed Charles Slye.

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