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Student Embraced by Classmates After Sharing What It’s Like to Have Autism

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April marked Autism Awareness Month — an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness and promoting acceptance for those on the autism spectrum.

One little boy’s classroom speech in early April had the perfect timing. Rumari Zalez is a 4th grader at Eagle Canyon Elementary School in Chino Hills, California, according to Good Morning America.



Rumari is bright and full of life. And he has autism.

According to a Facebook post shared by his mother, Olivia Dasso, Rumari only recently learned he is autistic.

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“We spoke about the spectrum and how no one person is affected the same,” Dasso wrote. “He sat quietly as he thought and then he said he loves being autistic.”



Rumari’s school was showing their support in honor of Autism Awareness Month, too. His teacher, Lisa Moe, who also goes by “Miss Moe,” is one of Rumari’s biggest supporters.

“My two most important mottos and lessons I stress every single day with my students is to ‘Be Kind’ and to believe in one’s self through the growth mindset of ‘Yes I Can,'” Moe shared on Facebook, along with a video of Rumari addressing his fellow students.



“Rumari has faced challenges and barriers beyond what any of us will ever be able to fully understand,” Moe explained.

“But today, Rumari stood in front of the classroom with full confidence, enthusiasm, and courage and showed us that there is no challenge or barrier that can stop him.”

Watch as this young man speaks out and finds acceptance and love for doing so. This is what Autism Awareness Month is all about.

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? Today, a beautiful thing occurred within my classroom. My two most important mottos and lessons I stress every single day with my students is to “Be Kind” and to believe in one’s self through the growth mindset of “Yes I Can”. • • It is #AutismAwareness Month and every classroom on campus has been asked to have each student decorate a paper puzzle piece and hang it on our classroom doors. When I handed out the puzzle pieces, most students were familiar with the idea of Autism and aware of the cause of decorating the puzzle pieces. What my students did not know is that Autism is present within our classroom with one of our fellow classmates, Rumari. With excitement, Rumari rose his hand and said “May I please say something?” I nodded and said “of course”, but never could I have imagined what was to follow. • • Rumari has faced challenges and barriers beyond what any of us will ever be able to fully understand. But today, Rumari stood in front of the classroom with full confidence, enthusiasm, and courage and showed us that there is no challenge or barrier that can stop him. He brought to life the meaning of “Yes I Can” as he explained to his fellow classmates that he was autistic. With full knowledge, he explained the differences that may come when being autistic and how the spectrum is vast. He courageously spoke about his own differences and quirks, while defining what it means to make everyone feel like a someone. • • My other students and I sat quietly and listened, completely engulfed in every word he spoke to us. Because of this, it took me a bit before realizing I needed to capture this moment. Without any of the students knowing, I hit record and captured the final moments of Rumari speaking to us and the raw, authentic reactions of the rest of my students. It is then, that I lost my ability to hold back the tears. It is then, that the daily lessons to “Be Kind” and to remember “Yes I Can” were brought together. • • If I were unable to ever teach again or if there was ever a question to my path into this role as an educator, this moment solidified my purpose. With permission from Rumari’s parents, I wanted to share with you this moment:

A post shared by Lisa Moe (@missmoeteaches) on


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When the other students offered claps of encouragement to Rumari, my heart melted. This video is truly everything.

The best part was when one student said, “I think that it doesn’t matter what a person does or if it may look weird … it doesn’t matter. They’re good just the way they are, like you, Rumari.”



“If I were unable to ever teach again or if there was ever a question to my path into this role as an educator, this moment solidified my purpose,” Moe shared.

Both teacher and student are equally amazing. Is there any wonder this video has gone viral? It’s a powerful message for both those on the spectrum as well as those who are learning to accept differences.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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