Parenting Wisdom From Special Kids

Chris Ulmer, a special education teacher, founded Special Books by Special Kids to share the unique personalities of his students with the wider community. The videos below do an exceptional job demonstrating key components in raising kind, caring kids.

Reacting Versus Responding

Evey helps Chris demonstrate the difference between reacting and responding. Chris says "When you react you don't put much thought into it. You just say whatever is on your mind. When you respond, you deliberate, you think, and then you formulate a response."

Using Empathy To Connect

Chris needs empathy to connect with Marianna. Chris explains "Love and being well-natured are important. But you also need to possess a level of empathy in order to connect with others around you."

Responding With Love, Acceptance and Inclusion

Owen explains his concern is "How will people react when they see me in public?" Chris writes "Let's show Owen that our reaction is one of love, acceptance and inclusion."

Sensing Children's Love

How do your children show you their love? Marilee shows Chris her love without using words. Chris writes "Marilee is unable to walk or talk, but as I held her in my arms I felt a love that words cannot describe."

Exceeding Expectations By Focusing On The Positive

Hayden has gone far beyond what doctors told his parents to expect. Children blossom when you focus on positive possibilities instead of limiting beliefs. Chris tells Hayden "I'm really glad a guy as great as you exists in this world."

Positive Affirmations Kids Need to Hear

Tinley's brother David sticks up for her when other kids tease her. Chris says to Tinley "I want you to celebrate your differences because you are perfect and amazing just the way you are."

Setting Limits in Loving Ways

This boy wants his teacher Chris' attention. Chris sets a limit in a loving way saying "How about this - you finish that work all by yourself and then we can hang out and have a three minute conversation about anything you want."

Paying Attention To Behavior You Want To Encourage

Charlie befriended Angel in kindergarten. His mom praises his behavior saying "He showed others how to help Angel. Didn't you? You were teaching the others."

Adjusting To Parenting Teens

When your kids become teens, they naturally turn towards friends rather than you for social approval. It can be a tough change for parents as Sam's mom explains "I guess once he started becoming a pre-teen he decided mothers were embarrassing."

Everyone Needs Friends

Friendship is something everyone needs. Chris tells Raleigh "Sometimes I think it's important for people to know that you can be friends - all you have to do is be accepting and willing to approach someone."