Highlights from “They Taught Me”: Our First Week Sharing Their Stories
Here at Teach.com, we are elated with the feedback and responses we’ve been receiving for They Taught Me: Blogging in Support of Special Needs -- and April is not even half over! We want to thank all you advocates, family members, and teachers who have shared your stories so far. Both you and the children you write about are such an inspiration, and we are honored to help you share their stories.
The CDC recently reported that now, 1 in every 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Every “1 in 68” has a story. By sharing their stories, we are making a difference.
To show our gratitude for your help in raising awareness for children with special needs, as well as ASD, it's our turn to share your stories. Check out some of the thoughtful and heartwarming stories that They Taught Me: Blogging in Support of Special Needs has received so far.
“...Jimmy has taught me that it takes an enormous amount of courage and effort to remain positive and work through those “not so great” days. The simplest thing to do is become negative or jaded….but Jimmy never does that. [He] has taught me is that my job and role is vital in the education system for children like him. They need someone in their corner who will advocate for them and are in the “position” to do so. It has become my mission to help all the “Jimmy’s” I come across in my role as principal…and I will always do it with a determined yet wide smile on my face.”
“What I do see is that these children have taught me to become a better teacher, a patient person, and an understanding parent. While life can be easy and a breeze for those without disabilities, special needs students have hurdles to overcome everyday."
"I learned more from him than from most of my textbooks. He taught me about living optimistically and hopefully despite circumstances and about how one must rise up with courage using every gift available in faithful service to others. He changed my life forever. He taught me that in reaching out to be a blessing we in fact ourselves are deeply blessed. Yes, he taught me."
"They Taught Me: How Working with Students with Autism Has Changed My Life" -- Teaching Special Thinkers
“I still have so much to learn about these individuals and from these individuals, as does the world. My students have blessed me in so many ways, and I feel honored that I have the opportunity to know and work with them on a daily basis. There are so many little things I used to overlook in my life, that I now have a true appreciation for”
There is no such word as “can’t.” Yep, we all have limitations, though it's sometimes hard to admit them. But what Cathy has taught me is that if you want something badly enough, you can work hard to get it and find a way around the barriers that keep you from it.
April is far from over, and there’s still plenty of time for you to share their stories too! Learn more about how you can participate in They Taught Me and help us make changes within the special needs community.
Be sure to use the hashtags #theytaughtme and/or #theirstories on social media to help us keep track of all of your contributions! When your blog post is published, share it on our Facebook or Twitter, or leave a comment at the end of this blog post!
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What is special needs education?
Special needs education programs are designed for those students whose needs cannot be met within the traditional classroom environment. These programs and services adapt content, classroom management and teacher instruction to meet the needs of each child. Although special needs students are often classified with learning disabilities, they can also include gifted students and English Language Learners (ELLs). A large number of students with varying needs and ability levels are grouped under one umbrella; addressing the needs of so many students can seem overwhelming under any circumstances.
And now, as the …
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What has having a child with a disability taught me? When I was pregnant, we learned our son had a condition that included multiple defects and a profound neurological impairment that would ultimately shorten his lifespan. Becoming Miles’ mother taught me more about love and trust than I could have learned in all my years alive. Having Miles was a journey of faith in many ways — faith that we could get through this as a family, faith that we would find purpose in his life and faith that God was with me on this journey. One of the more tangible impacts Miles had on my life is my ability to walk in others’ shoes more readily. His disability and what it took to…
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“Let’s go,” I urged. “On the count of three, we lift together.”
My lifeguards were already used to the procedure, and I couldn’t get over how we functioned like a smooth, synchronized Swiss watch. There was no need to tell them to use their legs and not their back, or to make sure their feet were firmly planted. (The deck was usually slippery.)