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Source ForPressRelease.com

Rates of autism are rising in the United States, and there is no clear explanation as to why this is happening. One clear challenge that classrooms across the country face is how to identify and help cultivate the unique talents that these students bring to the learning environment.



With nearly a decade of experience in the classroom, special educator Brooke Kodish Rutledge has seen firsthand the impact that a unique student can have on those around her. For Rutledge, her student, Clara, became a special inspiration. 



“Even though I was her teacher,” Rutledge says, “I want people to know that she taught me a lot as well. She taught me that everyone has a voice; it’s just that sometimes they are harder to hear at first. I helped Clara discover her own voice and how it could shape others.” Rutledge recalls one of Clara’s favorite sayings: Relax, you’re cool. This saying has stayed with Rutledge in the years since having Clara in her classroom. This was a mantra that Clara would repeat to herself in moments of stress to stay calm and work through the troubling situation.



Rutledge observed Clara, as she progressed from not being able to functionally communicate verbally to being able to make requests, speak in sentences, and even sing to her classmates. Seeing this transformation “was beautiful and inspirational,” Rutledge comments.



Rutledge decided to share Clara’s story with the world in hopes of touching others just as Clara touched her. She penned her first book for children, entitled “A Rainbow Shines Through Clara” to not only shed light on the challenges of autism but to also emphasize how hope and perseverance can change a child’s life. 



“Clara’s story is unique,” the author explains. “I hope that it inspires other people like it inspired me. I want people to be moved and realize how special these children are.” The takeaway message? “Don’t be afraid to make a connection with them.”



Publisher Lisa M. Umina comments, “Rutledge has a valuable perspective on the special contributions of children with autism in the classroom. Rutledge is teaching a message that we all need to hear about accepting others and ourselves and celebrating our differences.” 


 
 
 

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