By Erika Steele, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Hudson resident Jorge Teixeira is a family man. By day he is a Tyco software and hardware appliances engineer with over 33 years of experience in the customer service industry. By night he is the father of 16-year-old triplets and husband to an adoring wife, Mary. As a full time career man in the ever-changing technology market, the presumption may be that Teixeira has his hands full; however, inspired by his home life and the challenges he faces as a father of two special needs teenagers, he finds the time to tackle something near to his heart.
Two of Teixeira's children have special needs – autism and auditory processing disorder -which is why he felt compelled to support the Hudson Special Education Advisory Council (H-SEPAC). After attending meetings for several years, he took the opportunity when there was a changing of the guards to punch his ticket to the top and was elected as chair for the counsel.
“I got involved in a leadership role at 2010 because I had such difficult time in Hudson getting educated and informed about what it meant to have a child with disabilities in the school system,” he said.
His first move was to garner more support for the committee so that its mission to work for the understanding, respect, and support of all children with special needs could be achieved on larger, more meaningful levels. Teixeira started a website, created a presence on social media by adding Facebook and Twitter pages, and went to work to spread the word about a topic he is most passionate about.
“My involvement in H-SEPAC is to ensure that parents in Hudson or parents in any other community are informed in order to prevent the difficulties that myself and my wife went through,” he said.
Though H-SEPAC has excelled at expanding a network where advocates of children with special needs have access to relevant information, training, and support, it has not been without its controversy among school administrators. However, by building successful relationships and open communication, Teixeira and his committee hope to continue to make strides in fostering the best possible educational atmospheres in which students with disabilities can develop to their full potential.
“It is a difficult road to go down with a special needs child though I strongly believe that our awareness is the reason why my family is succeeding,” he stated, adding that although the committee is not made up of attorneys, members try to advise parents on what to do when it comes to providing education and support for special needs children.
One aspect of H-SEPAC that he is most proud of is its lecture series in which master educators and professionals in their field come to speak about special needs education as well as behaviors in children that could lead to proper diagnosis and care. The lineup is yet to be released, although more details can be found at http://www.hudsonsepac.com.