I want to dedicate this weeks blog to those who work with special needs children and to Sparrow Rose Jones, an adult who has grown up with autism. In honor of National Autism Awareness month, I’d like to give some insight to both Sparrow Rose Jones and two incredible teachers I had the honor of working with a couple of years ago. First a bit about Sparrow. She is a woman well into her adult years who has autism. Her artistic gifts are boundless as she shares her love for art, writing and composing of music and even authored a book called No You Don’t. I somewhat stumbled upon her website as I was researching artists for this week’s blog. She is living proof that even those with a disability can live productive lives and have much to share with the world. Please drop by her website at Sparrowrose.com for a very insightful look into her abilities and maybe do a little shopping while you’re at it. Her work is nothing less than REMARKABLE!
Next, a few years ago, I had the honor of working at a Middle School in Naperville Illinois called Madison Jr. High. I took the job of a classroom nurse working with special needs children. I have my Masters in Education and I learned very quickly the first week of working at Madison, the hard work and patience it takes to work with children with profound disabilities. The two classroom teachers, Joe Nikkel and Gina Genovisi soon became my idols as they showed what it takes to be a REALLY GOOD special ed. teacher. They are truly hero’s in these children’s lives as they not only teach the classroom subjects but lead them through our world, giving them experiences in everyday visits to the grocery store, going on picnics, field trips and even ordering food at a restaurant. Things that all of us take for granted are taught by these two incredible teachers. I believe in life we experience true heroism every day. They don’t throw a ball or run bases. They are the ones that touch our lives and truly make a difference. They teach, encourage and inspire. They are humbled by their experiences and look for no awards other than seeing their students achieve a milestone they worked so hard to attain.
Heroes usually come into our lives and make a change in us that we never thought possible. They leave without any expectation of a thank you or a good-bye. And they make an impact in the world and those lives they touch in ways they may never know. In honor of Sparrow Rose Jones, Joe Nikkel, Gina Genovisi, and every other person who has a disability or works with those with disabilities, it is because of your heroism and uniqueness that we may all open a place in our hearts for those with disabilities and see them not as someone with a disability, but those who have the ability to draw out the best in all of us. The world is more beautiful place because of all of you! Thank you.
Updates on The Wish…..Edits on my The Wish continue and we’ve begun to plan our trip out to California, hoping to do a few book signings along the way. Book trailer for The Wish is going slow, but am hoping to have it posted in the next month or so.
I will keep you posted with any updates from my publisher, still no release date has been set.
Til next week….