Deborah Winking Ph.D
When I was in my early teens, I was given the task of working with kids with special needs in our church basement because back then they were not welcome in "real" schools. In actuality I got far more from these kids than I ever gave. Most importantly I learned that children and young adults the world has labeled as "different" are far more capable than our schools, communities, and even sometimes our families acknowledge.
Armed with this conviction I pursued a career in education as a teacher of children with autism. Seeing my students often undermined by biased testing practices, low expectations and lack of opportunity, I left the classroom and earned my PhD in Educational Psychology. I have advocated for high expectations for children with and without special needs in my work with students, teachers, school leaders, and parents for over 25 years. Although I had long been drawn at an intellectual level to the research around the power of expectations for shaping behavior, it was only when I had a child of my own with special needs that my convictions were tested and galvanized by the truly soul-wrenching act of parenting.
When I am not working
When I'm not working I enjoy the many outdoor pursuits Colorado has to offer, including skiing with my kids in the winter, hiking with my husband in the summer, and taking my dog Toby out for runs just about anytime.
I firmly believe that each one of us has a place deep inside from which we draw inexhaustible strength, our own personal tangle with adversity. -Capable
I hope to use my story and experience to help others parent intentionally and courageously so that their child with special needs gets the all-important message that they are CAPABLE!
A world where each child is empowered to reach their personal best regardless of "difference"