Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sheila Chako

Autism Light #339 is Sheila Chako. 

Sheila Chako is a 5th grade teacher in the Gravenstein Union School District in Northern California. She is also a blogger. Sheila Chako is an Autism Light because she wrote a letter to her students with autism on her blog on March 7, 2014, that has served as an inspiration to many parents around the world because of the viral nature of the Internet.

News of this California teacher's inspiring letter was picked up by media in Cleveland, Ohio for autism awareness month in April. Here is a news story by Fox 8 in Cleveland about Sheila Chako's inspiring letter she wrote to her students with autism.

Here is one of the paragraphs of Sheila Chako's stirring letter to children with autism.
You have talents and wisdom far beyond your years. I don’t think you realize this.  That is my job. You have enthusiasm for science, word play in poetry, and mythical creatures. I can’t teach creativity and passion.  You got it. Others may brush you off. There he goes again. I smile. You were given a window into this world that not a lot of us have. You have the power to get so wrapped up in what interests you the rest of the world disappears
(Sprinkle Teaching Magic Blog, Dear Child with AutismMarch 7, 2014).  
Sheila Chako closes her letter by saying, "I am your teacher, and I will fight for you every day. I just see you. Thank you for being you (Sprinkle Teaching Magic Blog, Dear Child with Autism, March 7, 2014)."

Two dozen comments so far have been written on Sheila Chako's blog in response to her letter. One parent said, "You just described my son, exactly. Thank you and I love you. I too am going for my Special Education license and I want to say, you inspire me!"

Blog: Sheila Chako has a blog called Sprinkle Teaching Magic, where she shares educational resources. The entire contents of her Dear Child with Autism letter is on her blog.  

Special thanks to Sheila Chako for her devotion as a teacher to make life brighter for those with autism. Her message is certainly spreading autism awareness. Sheila Chako represents the many teachers from coast to coast who are guiding a generation of students with autism.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.