April is Autism Awareness Month. Most of us know a family touched by Autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. They may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.

That’s where Autism Therapists and Special Ed Teachers come in. These educators help people with ASD, and their families work with their unique strengths and differences, allowing them to grow and thrive in the world.

It takes a special degree of training, patience, care, and love to be an autism therapist. and we appreciate all that they do.

This month, we want to highlight a local teacher who specializes in helping learners with Autism.

Special Education Teacher, Michael Brown, with his student, Jake Daniels.

Meet Michael Brown, a Special Education teacher at Laurel Elementary School in Oceanside. Mr. Brown served in the US Marine Corps (from 1987–1993) as an  Aviation Operations Specialist, eventually finding a second career in education after his military service.

At Laurel Elementary, Mr. Brown’s classroom includes students who have moderate to significant cognitive and language delays. They also have a wide variety of abilities. Some of Mr. Brown’s students are not able to speak, and those who can struggle to independently express their thoughts.

Mr. Brown and other paraprofessionals in the class foster a classroom community where students feel safe and can learn from and with each other. They use a variety of teaching strategies to meet each student at their level and to help them learn at their own pace. Along with their academic skills, the team also works to help develop the students’ independence, social, and play skills.

If you are an autism therapist or teacher who works with Autistic students, like Mr. Brown, thank you! ❤️ When you dine at our house during the month of April, let us know and we’ll give you 10% off your check.

One small way we can help care for you, the people who allow those we love to shine.