Calling All Special Education Teachers: Have You Heard About “They Taught Me”?

April 8th, 2014 | by Stephan Maldonado

We’ve entered the second week of National Autism Awareness Month. Did you know that, according to recent studies, as many as one in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Autism Awareness Month is an opportunity to start a discussion about ASD and educate others about the needs of the community, while also bringing to attention the efforts and initiatives in place to protect the rights of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While April is a great time to shine a spotlight on the issues surrounding this community, we, as educators, should always make an effort to advocate for those students who have touched our lives, whether they have ASD or any other special need. Even if you’re not a special education teacher, chances are you have encountered and learned from at least one child with special needs throughout your career.

Our good friends over at Teach.com have launched an exciting new initiative in conjunction with Autism Awareness Month. “They Taught Me: Blogging in Support of Special Needs” aims to “spread special needs awareness and engage the ever-growing network of advocates” by encouraging everybody–parents, teachers, friends–who’s life has been touched by a child with special needs–be it ASD or another condition–to share their stories. See below for more information from the Teach.com blog, and click here to learn more about how you can participate in this meaningful campaign. Also, be sure to check out some of the other great stories that have already been shared as part of this effort.

They Taught Me: Blogging in Support of Special Needs

Blogging in Support of Special Needs
Brought to you by Teach.com

““They Taught Me” is launching alongside National Autism Awareness Month to expand our awareness and advocacy for all children protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). One in every 88 children identify with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)*, and ASD affects the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide. This number quadruples when you consider the parents, teachers and community members whose lives have been touched by those children on the spectrum.

“The mission and goal behind “They Taught Me” is to flood the Internet with stories of these children who have impacted the lives of those around them. By sharing their stories, “They Taught Me” will put a face to the numbers, a story to the statistic, and show the world how much of an impact these children have had and continue to have on special education, the community, and each other.

“To do that, we need your help. We are calling out to all members of the special needs community — parents, family members, teachers, school administrators, advocates — to share your stories about what a child with special needs has taught you. When thinking about special education, we often focus on how we can teach our children. Through this campaign, we can shed light on how our children have taught us.

“If you are a blogger who has a personal connection to a child with special needs and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder, please consider sharing your story in a blog post.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Share your story. Publish a blog post that tells your “They Taught Me” story. How has a child with special needs influenced your life? What have they taught you, and how are you better because of it? This is your chance to add their story to the statistics.

  • Show your support. Grab one of the badges below and place it on your blog post or homepage. Wear this badge with pride; show your community of readers that you are blogging in support of special needs/Autism awareness.

  • Create a ripple effect. Include a link back to our Call to Action so that your community of readers can find out more about “They Taught Me” and learn how they too can share their story.

  • Spread the word. We want to hear your stories! Along with publishing your stories on your blog, we would love for you to share them on Twitter and Facebook as well. By promoting your stories on social media, you are helping to expand our reach to a wider audience, and advocate change online. Use the hashtags #theytaughtme or #theirstories.”

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