Saturday, March 9, 2013

Love Being Yourself

I work at a wonderful school, and recently had the opportunity to advise a middle school community service group that chose to work at a nonprofit for individuals with Down Syndrome and autism.

As an adviser, I was asked to provide reading to my students to help them learn about the area of service they selected. I considered numerous fiction and nonfiction books that would help young teens learn about people with DS and autism. In the end, I chose I Love Being My Own Autistic Self ( At first, I felt guilty that the book only included autism. But to me, it’s about loving people for who they are, and the importance of a strong sense of identity and self worth. This is a universal theme, one I wanted my students to embrace.

As I told my students, when you read about one character with DS or autism, you get a single experience. That experience does not necessarily represent a community.

But Landon Bryce’s unusual book of cartoons reminds people that, no matter what label a person has, everyone should be celebrated and welcomed as they are. From the discussion with my students, and the loving, respectful way they approached their service with children at the nonprofit, I believe I made the perfect book choice.

I encourage you to read it, too.

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Rooster's Mom is a parent, educator, wife, mom, and writer. She blogs at


  1. wow. I commend you in the work you do. I wish my child could be at such a supportive school. We have struggled in the beginning. I really wanted my children in the traditional classroom setting, and the school was refusing. We ended up hiring a lawyer ( after so many issues. I have found it to be a good choice at this point. My question is, as my child grows, (he's only in kindergarten) what are some tips or advice you could possibly give to ensure the teachers are working together in the best interest of my child. I feel as if I am constantly worrying, and I just want to ensure I am making the right choices for my child.