I understand why my friends that teach love their jobs so much. Kids genuinely want to learn and (for the most part) are interested in what you have to say. Especially if you're talking about things like children's book, actors, and ninja turtles.
To say I've been humbled by my experiences of speaking to schools doesn't seem to convey it enough. I know I'm not a specialist about autism. I know I'm just a regular guy who loves to write and who happens to know one child that touched my life and caused me to write about it. But I also know that I've completely enjoyed every place I've gone the past few weeks and have shared my story. I've talked to a college creative writing class, a 3rd grade class, a huge group of four 6th grade classes, two preK classes of 3 & 4 year old special needs children, and was guest speaker at a big celebration of K-5th graders. I've met them at all ages and they have been so excited and could not make me feel better about what I'm doing.
I wish I had it in me to be able to go out on the road and visit many schools; but there is such a thing as life/responsibilities/bills that keep that from happening. But I'm really grateful to the local schools that have welcomed me with open arms.
I really have my mother to thank for the joy and love of children. She has spent a lifetime working with preschoolers and kindergarten kids. I would go to work with her many times when I was younger and this path I'm on now makes me think back to those times. I'll never have my own kids, but I sure do love witnessing the wonder and awe in which they view life. The smiles they gave me as I'd read Chicken Boy to them and the sounds of BAHCAAAAAH! they would shout back.
Hopefully more kids and teachers will help spread the word about the book, but even if not: I can see I'm touching one kid at a time when I go to these schools.
And that is just fine to me!