Exceptional Children’s Week: Peer Buddies

As I continue to celebrate Exceptional Children’s Week, I wanted to re-post one of my most popular essays. “What Were You Doing In Middle School?” was originally posted on this site two years ago, as a part of my Autism Awareness series. It was also featured on the front page of the of Huffington Post Parents. This is the essay from which I have received the most feedback. I received so many texts and private emails asking for more information about how to start a program like this at other schools. In fact, I have a friend who was taking a class at the University of Georgia, and the professor referenced this essay. How cool is that? I’m not mentioning this to toot my own horn, but rather show how important inclusion is to the lives of special needs student. Bear moves on to high school next year and we’re going to miss our peer buddies very much. I cannot thank our middle school enough for supporting this program!

P.S. Today is Bear’s first track meet of the season!

Autism Angels: The Peer Buddies


A few weeks ago, I shared a post about my son Barrett’s first track meet.  In that post, I explained that Barrett wouldn’t be able to be on the team, if it weren’t for the village of people who support him.  One of those villagers is a young man named Tommy Rhodes.  Tommy’s been going to practice with Bear and running with him in the meets, even though he’s not on the track team.  Tommy is an autism peer at Barrett’s Middle School.  He’s one of many.  Forty students volunteer in the Awesome Class, the school’s adopted name for Barrett’s class. Continue reading Exceptional Children’s Week: Peer Buddies

Celebrating Exceptional Children’s Week

Yesterday kicked off Georgia’s Exceptional Children’s Week.  During Barrett’s elementary years, I was the PTA Chair for Exceptional Children’s Week and very active in the promotion of the event. I helped plan and host various celebrations of these special students and raised money for their programs.  Even though I’m no longer a committee chair, I still believe in celebrating the teachers, administrators, therapists and students who make up our special education programs. This week I’m going to re-post a few articles I’ve written in the past, which highlighted the special education programs and teachers in our county.  Barrett has been very lucky – he’s had exceptional teachers and support from our school system.

This year’s them is “Helping Education Fit.”

Celebrating Exceptional Children’s Week

Exceptional Children’s Week is an annual celebration of students with exceptionalities and the professionals who serve them.  The week-long celebration is a national movement started by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), which is a national group that serves as the voice and vision of special education.  The state of Georgia also has a Georgia Council for Exceptional Children (GCEC), which leads the celebration for our local schools.  This year they designated March 10-14, 2014 as Exceptional Children’s Week (ECW).  Many Forsyth County schools use the week as  opportunity for education, fundraising and celebration.
Continue reading Celebrating Exceptional Children’s Week