My work with neurodivergent children is inspired by the experiences of the students and families with whom I work and by my own life experiences. I remember being very young and looking up at leafless branches against a cold autumn sky and wondering why they looked like the arteries I’d seen laced around the outside of the heart diagram we’d labeled in Biology class. I thought there must be a connection.
I also remember the sinking feeling in my own heart that something was wrong with me. I absolutely could not focus singularly on whatever subject was in front of me. I was constantly making connections and inferences inspired by whatever information was being presented to me. I was told over and over again that this compulsive thought process, as well as the need to share it, would be my downfall… and for a long time, I believed it.

I was well into adulthood when another educator pointed it out to me... I'm neurodivergent
Are you struggling to understand your child ?

Is the conventional education system impossible for your family to navigate?

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In 2002 I graduated with a degree in Chemistry from The Evergreen State College. Shortly after, I was awarded the renowned Fulbright Scholarship for study in Thailand. After a brief, successful yet unfulfilling career as a chemist, I made a switch to alternative education.

It was then that I realized, I've always been fascinated by how people learn, communicate, and connect. 

My passion for education lead me to design the Sunnyside Micro-School, which provides gifted and twice-exceptional children with a safe space to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and values in a personal and meaningful manner. I also wrote a book, Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget, which is meant to inspire other passionate individuals to consider micro-schools as an avenue for gifted and twice-exceptional children.

My training in Nonviolent Communication and Montessori credential inspire my educational philosophies and practices. 

I am also a proud Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Ambassador and chemistry teacher for GHFO. 

I consult through speaking and workshops to discuss the characteristics of neurodivergent children and how to develop strategies that best serve their education and social-emotional development. This includes designing micro-schools, highly specialized learning environments, for gifted and twice-exceptional learners.

More recently I was honored by the California Association for the Gifted for distinguished service on behalf of gifted and twice-exceptional children. My newest publication, Could You Live Underwater: A Design Thinking and STEM Curriculum is available now.
Copyright 2018 // jade@jadeannrivera.com