Sharon Benaderet-Cohen, provides the reader with multiple examples of how she has inspired others to “Touch a Life”. Mrs. Cohen skillfully guides the audience through a series of events that shaped her role as a teacher and mentor. Her real life examples demonstrate to others how to overcome barriers that initially seem impenetrable. The families often struggle to accept their child’s disability and Mrs. Cohen describes how she and her colleagues brainstormed solutions that ultimately resulted in matching services to enhance the child’s academic and emotional success.
Having had the pleasure of knowing Ms. Cohen both professionally and socially, I can attest to her exceptional insight and caring nature. She is truly an educator who goes above and beyond expectations to ensure that all who seek her guidance and services are left with inspiration and support. Her work with students and families truly touches their lives and their hearts and her ability to share the experiences of a lifetime in education is a powerful example to the future teachers who she skillfully guides into the greatest profession. Parents will find that her stories give them hope for the future of their children. Readers will be inspired with an exceptional insight into the world of Special Education. Mrs. Cohen has truly been able to “Touch a Life” and many lives have been enhanced by her dedication and compassion.
Suzanne R. Cote MA, NASP, LMFC
Adjunct Professor Rowan University
As an education professional working with future classroom teachers, this is exactly the type of book that I would recommend pre-service teachers add to their personal library. Sharon drives home a very important message and helps future teachers understand how to look at their kids as individuals and find the “good” in all. The anecdotal stories help illustrate each chapter’s message in an authentic way and really gets to the “heart” of what it means to be a great teacher. I am very proud of Sharon’s first book and look forward to her adding more to the field.
Dr, Kay Burks
Assistant Professor of Education & Coordinator of Teacher Education – University of South Carolina Aiken
I met Sharon when my son was just over three years old. She was his case manager, part of the child study team along with, John Lestino, child psychologist. At the time, my son was listed as multiple disabled, later the Autism label followed. This was uncharted territory for our family. It was a time of uncertainty and heartache. As I worked with Sharon over the years, she became family. I could call her at anytime, day or night! She would always answer her phone with encouragement, ideas, or just to lend an ear. She shared stories of past students like my son, and gave me HOPE when we were lost navigating the Autism world! At monthly meetings,Sharon met us with a smile and a hug! We collaborated on ideas, we discussed issues and ways to overcome those issues, and we also, shared Johnny’s triumphs….Sharon celebrated those too! She always had ideas she drew on from her past experience, thinking “outside” the box if that’s what it took. She in fact, moved mountains to make things happen. At one meeting Sharon helped Johnny become the only disabled kid in the choir. At graduation, she sat in the front row, shedding tears of joy for Johnny achievements. She personally watched a little boy who was lost and one that couldn’t communicate, blossom into a boy that could sing in a choir and tell her “ Hi Mrs. Cohen”, every time he saw her. I owe Sharon and John Lestino all the gratitude a parent can muster to thank them for all their hard work. My son, has overcome so many obstacles in his life. Obstacles that Sharon and John removed so he could succeed !
Sharon didn’t see her job as just a job, it was her passion. I was so blessed to have had Sharon in our lives. She’s understanding,commpasionate and loving. Exactly what we needed during the most trying time of our lives. Sharon still keeps in touch with us, wanting to know how Johnny B. is doing. She is forever apart of our family!
This is written with the utmost love and respect to a woman who gave us her all!
Sharon Cohen is a dedicated and consummate teacher who has dedicated decades to educating young students and future teachers. Through the examples and stories she presents in this book, Sharon shares the wisdom of her extensive experience to inform and guide future teachers as they begin their own journey in educating others.
Frances M. Sessa, Ph.D.
Division Head, Social Sciences
Associate Professor, Psychology
Penn State University-Abington