The Rotary Club of Ashburn, VA is excited to welcome fellow Rotarian Shauna Olevson as this week's guest speaker. Join us for an discussion on engaging autistic students in gardening to get them excitd and interested in nutrition.
Shauna Olevson is currently in her third year of teaching elementary music at Sanders Corner Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia. She graduated in 2008 from George Mason University where she received a bachelors degree in Music Education, and in May of 2014 she earned a masters degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Shenandoah University.
Shauna currently lives in Ashburn, Virginia with her husband Jimmy and two year old daughter, CaseyJane. A lover of the Ashburn community, Shauna is a volunteer EMT with Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue department, as well as the children's choir director at Crossroads United Methodist Church.
Many students on the autism spectrum are finicky eaters due to underlying anxiety, inflexibility, and sensory issues. We are hoping that through the garden, students will get excited about watching plants sprout, grow, and bloom under their care and will be willing to make healthier choices. By getting children excited about nutritious food at a young age, we are setting them up for a lifetime of healthier food choices. Students in our self-contained autism classes will be paired with general education students to learn social skills and be able to learn from each other. For many of our students, behavioral goals are just as important, if not more important than instructional goals. By watching and interacting with same age peers, students on the autism spectrum have a positive role model and can model age appropriate social behaviors.