Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jane Hsu

Autism Light #107 is Jane Hsu.

Jane Hsu is a special education teacher in New York City. Jane Hsu is an Autism Light because she is the founder of a website tool to help children with autism find friends and improve social skills.

Jane Hsu has been working directly with special needs children for 14 years and has spent the last five years teaching in New York City. She was inspired to create a website tool to help link special needs children up with playdates, because of her personal dedication to go beyond the classroom to help her students with autism. Because of the Internet this website tool is now able to reach children beyond New York City and into far corners of the world.

The website that Jane Hsu founded is called Special Playdate and can be found at Specialplaydate.com. Special Playdate lists as their mission on their website: "Every child deserves to have a friend! Special Playdate connects parents with other parents seeking playdate opportunities for their children with or without special needs."

Jamie Pagliaro the Co-Creator of Rethink Autism said, "This is a brillantly executed website, addressing a fundamental need for children with special needs and their families. Parents will immediately get a good feeling when they visit the site and sign up to join (Source)."

Special Playdate has several features that parents of children with autism will like.
  1. The price is right for the tight finances of autism parents as it is free to join. 
  2. It is a secure system that safeguards personal information and allows private messaging.
  3. It will be dynamic, as Jane Hsu has plans to expand the resources on the website.
For more information about Special Playdate and Jane Hsu read these inspiring articles written by the Autism Support Network.
Social Media: You can follow the work of Special Play Date at the following social media areas. Jane Hsu provides suggestions for activities to do on a play date on her Facebook page.
Special thanks to Jane Hsu for being an Autism Light and taking the initiative to create such a useful tool. This website has the potential to be the difference between friendship or loneliness, joy or discouragement, and community or isolation for many children with autism.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photo in this post was used with permission of Jane Hsu.

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