Stanley William Shura
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City and State?
Abington, MA
Professional Background
I have been a paraprofessional for about 17 years - starting with a year and a half in Americorps with most of that serving economically struggling families in the Acre section of Lowell, and 5 days/week as a VERY "green" classroom aide.

I've learned a lot since then, about kids, and how they are more similar than different (in the ways that count), and I include the children I've served in my last 6 years at the South Shore Educational Collaborative, working with severely and multiply-disabled children with a great range of diagnoses, learning and communications styles, and intense medical needs.

I am profoundly interested in this site for reasons I must confess are partly self-serving.

I am an adult with some pretty intense neurological, neurosurgical, LD (NVLD), and the inevitable affective consequences of depression and chronic and periodically fully-overwhelming anxiety.

I am an Amateur writer, poet, math/physics/learning theory/psych geek...and a musician of some 30+years. I consider myself a pianist first, althought I studied music ed in college as a voice major. It was in *college*, after about half a semester of the "core" music curriculum (theory, solfege, history) when something astounding slowly unveiled itself. I had always "had a good ear, and could sing the first note of any song I'd ever heard, out of the blue, with no reference pitch, even if I hadn't heard a lick of music in the previous two days.

During my rudimentary study in college, these notes - these musical moments in my life's history began to find a context - in short order, I could name ANY note - NAME it - because the LANGUAGE of music was unveiled to me through theory and ANALYSIS. It was by processing it all verbally that this theretofore parlor trick became an indispensible tool.

I KNOW the profoundly emotional impact (I'm tearing up as I type this) that can be had when the walls are torn down and the world is speaking MY language - that is - LANGUAGE!!
What information do you hope to gain from the Visual Teaching Network?
I'm looking to garner any and ALL information I can from those "in the trenches" and at the pinnacle of research on nonverbal and visual-processing disorders. I hope to find the "hottest" researchers and clinicians in my area - heck, competently treating those with NVLD/visual processing/executive functioning difficulties fits THAT descirption.

I hope to connect with those both working with and suffering from the pervasive and profound effects these deficits bring about. I want to learn how to learn, learn how to survive, learn how to better instruct or "aide", and maybe even learn how to sculpt the BEST ME - and thus be that much happier and have a profound and enduring positive impact on this world during my time breathing.

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