Impact Stories — Joe McFadden

Throughout June we will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This final blog in the series highlights a student from a private high school in Maryland.

Congratulations Graduate! A Spotlight on Joe McFadden.

By Pauline Peticlerc and Joe McFadden

Joe was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. He did not speak until age five, and we were told he may never learn to potty train. Fortunately, he was born with great fortitude and never let his disability stand in his way.

As Joe entered elementary school, we found math and English proved to be rather simple for him but relating to his classmates was very difficult.

Middle school offered even greater challenges. The accelerated learning pace combined with the larger size of the school created overwhelming difficulties for Joe. Eventually, we and his school team made the decision to place him in The Katherine Thomas School in Rockville, Maryland, a school designed for the unique needs of students with disabilities. There, he has received individual support and attention and learned effective life skills that contribute to his independence.

At KTS, Joe learned that music provides him with a wonderful opportunity to de-stress and gain control over his [...]

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