Having struggled with a learning disability as a child, Kristi Barragan understands firsthand the challenges students with special needs experience. She knew at an early age that she wanted to give children with learning disorders the encouragement and specialized attention that she didn’t receive in her youth.
A student in Pacific Oaks Teaching Credentialing and Human Development programs, Kristi is discovering effective and progressive approaches to special needs education. Learning to think outside the box, she is already applying these concepts to her work as a paraeducator for students in special education classes. Kristi developed a series of “hidden picture puzzles” to engage them between assignments while providing some well-deserved fun. The concept is so popular that teachers throughout the school have integrated the approach into their classroom and Kristi is contracted for two book series featuring the puzzles.
“My greatest inspiration is when a student finally gets a concept they never thought they could learn and they give me the ‘wow, I can do this’ look,” says Kristi.