Special Books by Special Kids, A Project Dedicated to Neurodiverse Individuals by Chris Ulmer and Alyssa Porter

Chris Ulmer and Alyssa Porter, two persons behind Special Books by Special Kids, a global multimedia movement to spread empathy and understanding in order to build acceptance to the neurodiverse individuals.

The organization which began its idea through self-publishing a book series has eventually become a multimedia movement to share unique talents and personalities of his students in the special education classroom.

The isolation of neurodiverse individuals especially kids in the community has became a great concern to Chris. He believes the ignorance basically comes from the minimal knowledge, which lead to lack of understanding in community.

Chris believes that the isolation could limit the capability of these special individuals, which can be developed to break the limitation and bring out their real talents.

After graduated from Penn State University, specializing in media studies in 2010, Chris set his heart to coach college soccer. He later applied for coaching position in University of Cumberlands, Kentucky, which give him full scholarship. He received his master degree in education and get his coaching position.

While working in his coaching position, Chris fell in love in student teaching and later applied for a job at Keystone Academy in Jacksonville, Florida to become a teacher for children with special needs. Two years after, in 2016, he started to work on a project called “Special Books by Special Kids”.

He writes a series of book but failed to get any publishers to publish his books. He was being rejected over and over again. 50 times to be exact. But Chris is not someone who give up easily.

He began to switch his movement using multi-media, doing direct interview to the neurodiverse community, posting the video to Facebook Page and YouTube channel. The videos, which mostly showed the humanity side of the community and their unique talents, has catched a lot of eyes. Now the Facebook Page has more than one million likes.

Alyssa Porter, a graduates from University of Florida and a Master of Art in museum studies from Indiana University-Purdue University, has participates in the movement. Alyssa was formerly working as a curator in Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville. Her latest position was a director in the curatorial department.

Alyssa is now an executive director and takes care of the administrative works in SBSK.

The project serves multiple purposes, for the children and for their parents. For the children, he wants his students to understand their own talents and in the end, could raise awareness. For their parents, he wants them to give great supports while also act as resources and role models for others who have kids with similar syndrome.

Special Books by Special Kids received students with various syndrome, such as autism, dwarfism, rett, apert, emanuel, kabuki, microcephaly and other similar neuro syndrome.

Chris has given his speech at National Autism Conference, New Orleans and Autism West Symposium in Fremantle, Australia, both in 2016. Chris wishes Special Books by Special Kids is able to build empathy, understanding and love for the children and community.

A variety of SBSK’s videos can be viewed at its YouTube channel. Here is one of the videos.

If you wish to get more information about Special Books by Special Kids (SBSK), please visit the following links:

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