When my daughter was diagnosed with Autism at 3 years old, my entire world collapsed around me.

My husband and I went through months of confusion trying to figure out the best steps for Madison.

We found an excellent pre-kindergarten program for her that changed our lives. The teachers not only helped Madison, but helped us as well. They saw us through some very difficult times and to this day, we still stay in touch with them.

Often we don’t appreciate the incredible responsibility that teachers, assistant teachers, paraprofessionals and anyone caring for children carry. When Lane Bryant reached out to me and told me about their “Chalk It Up To Style” event, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

During the month of September, all “teachers” will receive 15% off their in-store purchase.

To help celebrate “Chalk It Up To Style”, I reached out to one of the assistant teachers at my daughter’s school. Her sunny disposition and beautiful smile always brightens my day and I wanted to do something special for her.

We met at her local Lane Bryant store for a styling session and had a blast! Get to know Amanda Rose and we hope you too are inspired by her amazing story.

Maddy: How long have you been working with children?

Amanda: It’s been eleven years.

Maddy: Tell us a little bit about what you do.

Amanda: I work as a teacher’s assistant at a school in Rockland County that serves students with primary disabilities such as Emotionally Disturbed (ED), Multiple Disabilities (MD), Other Health Impairment (OHI), autism, speech and language impairments.

Maddy: Did you always know you wanted to work with special needs children?

Amanda: Yes! I have a great passion for working with children with special needs because of my personal background. I, myself, was diagnosed with a learning disability at a very young age. You will never know how different you feel when you are labeled as a child with learning disability. You basically feel like X-Men minus the cool powers. I couldn’t read or write as well as my peers. I remember struggling with elementary level homework and my mom helping me every night and never getting frustrated with me. The teachers in the special education department throughout my life made such a lasting impression and never made me feel different or that I couldn’t do something as well as someone else. I knew then, that I wanted to give a child the same treatment and tell them they can do whatever they wanted and that they aren’t different.

Maddy: What do you love most about what you do?

Amanda: I love making a difference in a child’s life every day. I have always embraced my disability and never used it as an excuse. I want the students I work with to have that same motivation. I love that I can give children the confidence they need to accomplish anything they feel they want. It is surreal to me that I can be that person that changes a child’s life as mine was changed so many years ago.

Maddy: What would you like people to know about teachers and what you do?

Amanda: Teachers and much of the education field are, in my opinion, the most unsung heroes. The dedication I see in my co-workers and the pride we all take in our work is indescribable. The bond I see staff members have with kids is really amazing. The people I work with are the most amazingly talented people that are truly gifted at what they do. I am very lucky to work with such individuals every day. As for what I would like readers to know, I can honestly say I enjoy working somewhere where they take such exceptional care of kids with specials needs.

Thanks Amanda for sharing your story with us! We appreciate you and all you do!

Here’s some more images from our special day:

Special thanks to Lane Bryant for honoring teaching professionals annually with their special “Chalk It Up To Style” Event.

Don’t forget, during the month of September, all educational professionals will receive 15% off their in-store purchase.

You can follow Amanda on Instagram at @vster92287.