As I mentioned in my post on April 2nd, April is Autism Awareness Month. No one is more aware of autism than the individuals who live with this diagnosis, and their families who love them. They are the ones who live with the challenges and differences every day. But, there are some unsung heroes out there helping them find a comfortable place of acceptance: Special Education Teachers and Therapists.
Teachers and therapists working in the world of special education truly have the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve met. They have to give enthusiastically for 6-8 or more hours a day. What makes them truly special is they can breathe the power of belief into the hearts of our special kids who don’t always believe in themselves. They can bring relief to a parent filled with worries and doubts. What an amazing super power!
I am a huge fan of this guy: Christopher Ulmer. We have never met and probably won’t. But, I want to introduce you to the important work he is doing. He is working hard to open doors of acceptance for children with autism and different abilities. His passion and his energy in the videos he posts are contagious. I hope you catch it too and pass it on to friends, family and strangers. As he says in nearly every video, “we are all more alike than we are different” and no matter what our abilities are we all need one thing to thrive. Love.
Here is a PopSugar video of “Mr. Chris” (as his students call him).
Mr. Chris tried to publish a book series written by his students. It was rejected 50 times. Instead he now travels the country interviewing individuals and their families and posting those videos online. Through sharing these stories on social media he is hoping to create a platform to educate the world and invite others to learn more about neurodiversity.
Mr. Chris uses rough 1/3 of his teacher salary toward promoting this project. I encourage you all to go check out the Special Books by Special Kids website and Facebook page. If you are inspired by his work feel free to click on the donation tab on the website and contribute to his gofundme site. Mr. Chris is using donations to fund his expenses to travel to each family and to keep SBSK operating. And, if you know a publisher who would be willing to publish his book series don’t be afraid to reach out to him directly. 😉
Please share this blog post on your social media pages. We can make Mr. Chris’s work a little easier by helping create a better understanding of what it looks like to treat others with compassion despite their diagnosis.
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!
Loved this post because its great to see parents complimenting teachers and seeing how much they do and how much of their own salary they contribute to their students. Mr. Chris looks like the coolest – totally checking out the links you offered!
Karen | GlamKaren.com
I love this guy! I would have loved being his principal!!
I don’t know anyone with a child who has Autism. I have read about it though. It can be a challenge. I am so glad to see that there are those who strive to help children with Autism.
It is amazing how giving Mr Chris is…he is amazing. Such a great idea for a book.
Oooo how awesome Is this project!?!?! I will have to check these links out. These kids must feel so amazing to be part of this
That is amazing that he takes his own salary to give to this project. I love seeing teachers go above and beyond to help their students.
What a lovely man. More people need to follow his example.
What an incredible man! This is what I like to see in the education world.
I love that it is Autism awareness month and I wish that my autistic friends had this when they were younger. My friend would have really liked reading this.
What an amazing person! I’m heading over to follow him on Facebook ASAP!
What an amazing guy he is. I have a child who is autistic so I know firsthand what it’s like living with someone who has a diagnosis. I will be going to his page to show him some support.
Thank you Amanda! That’s exactly what I was hoping to do with this post! Get him more support. I am sure there are so many other Special Ed teachers who are as passionate as he is, just not getting the recognition.
I haven’t heard the statement different is not less and I love it so much! My niece is autistic and she is my happy thought!
I have worked in a school for Autistic children. We used to take the kids out into the community and you would be so surprised how differently they were treated. Every kid I worked with was a happy thought for me. I still go back and remember them with deep fondness!
what a great post! Autism awareness is something that I value as several of my good friends have children that are on the spectrum.
Thank you so much for sharing this information. As a teacher, I was not aware of Mr. Chris and his very worth while project. I am now following him on Facebook and plan to help me spread the word about his project.
Thanks for sharing your Friday favorites and the wonderful cause of Autism awareness. I value this philanthropic effort and really appreciate the highlight and information you are spreading.
Thanks Cara! I’ve meet so many amazing people in the autism community- but the unsung heroes are the parents. They have the stress, the worry and decision making 24/7.
This is wonderful. I love seeing people and educators promoting acceptance and beauty for special needs children, it’s such an important topic, especially since I have family in the autism spectrum.
I’ve seen that teachers videos before. He seems like the best teacher. I love that he’s making a difference in the lives of those kids.