Amanda Yuill made a counter-intuitive choice many years ago: to become a full-time occasional teacher.
In Ontario, by law, you have to be an occasional (supply) teacher before you can be hired into a permanent role. Most new teachers strive to find a permanent classroom to call their own, but that wasn’t in the cards for Amanda.
Her atypical career move provided her with the flexibility and opportunity to research gaps she saw in the education system and work on writing and publishing books.
“The topic of my first book was substitute teaching, because I did it and I loved it,” Amanda says on the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. “And I didn’t know anyone else who loved it. Like, I really love the job. I love going in and meeting new classes and getting the kids on my side and having fun with them. And they had a fun day. And that wasn’t the normal experience. And I thought, you know what? This can change this culture. It needs to change. It can change.”
Amanda’s latest book — What’s the Difference?: Building on Autism Strengths, Skills and Talents in Your Classrooms — provides teachers with tools and strategies to help autistic students be at their best.
“We have such a small definition of normal and everything outside it was specialized, but now our definition of normal is growing,” Amanda says. “And so how do we include our autistic students and help normalize the autism in our class? Because truthfully, we probably have autistic friends and didn’t know they were autistic. There are people out there who have been inventing things, business leaders who are autistic, and we didn’t know it. I hope part of what the book does is just increase the awareness that autism is more normal than what we thought.”
But beneath that, Amanda’s book also provides some great lessons on leadership and developing a posture of deeper understanding. We get to all of that and more in the episode below.
[00:00:00.070] – Speaker 1
When you find their strengths, they’re so excited. The other kids are excited because they can’t do that to help them feel like, oh, I’m doing something. Well, not just I’m surviving, but I’m thriving. That’s what I wanted for these students who you really end up loving.
[00:00:26.190] – Speaker 2
Good day and welcome to the Leading with Nice Interview Series podcast. My name is Mathieu Yuill and we want to help you inspire others to build loyalty and get results. Now, because I only do things that I like doing. I’m always excited for these podcasts. But today I’m actually a little bit less excited because I have my sister on. I’m actually more excited because I have my sister Amanda Yuill on. And she’s a teacher, an author, a speaker. She has traveled the world. I think you only have Antarctica to go.
[00:01:00.510] – Speaker 1
Yes. For continents only. Antarctica left.
[00:01:03.340] – Speaker 2
Yeah. She’s led a very interesting life and is always doing something. And I was talking to Allison earlier. One of the things that I’m always impressed to build with Amanda is when she goes to do research and learn something she really like, she dives in. If we’re in an argument and I start to sense that she’s done her research, I often abandon that ship. There’s no win here. There’s no win anyhow. So with that being said, one of the good things about growing up with Amanda is I never had to wear sunscreen because I was always in her shadow. And it’s not true at all.
[00:01:36.920] – Speaker 1
It’s not true.
[00:01:37.970] – Speaker 2
She is my Bette Midler in Beaches. Listen, the reason we have Amanda today, though, is she is a teacher. She is an occasional teacher by profession, which means often, if you know a teacher or you’ve had something in your life that was one they probably started their career being an occasional teacher with the hopes of one day becoming a full time, having their classroom, maybe even being at one school the rest of their career. Amanda did not want that. She did it for a while, actually, but she’s opted to become an occasional teacher. And I’m going to let you tell this story. Amanda, can you tell us your first foray into authorship, what the inspiration was and what needs you saw and what you did about it?
[00:02:21.870] – Speaker 1
Right. Well, like you said, I had been a permanent teacher and resigned to be an occasional teacher because there was just so many things I wanted to do and I wanted the flexibility. And in my life I was able to take the flexibility. So I went overseas to Japan to work with a charity. And we were working with homeless men and we were working with University students who were depressed and suicidal. And all of the volunteers worked there. None of us had enough money. We all had a second job. And I thought there has to be a way to make more money so that we don’t have to have second jobs and we can completely devote ourselves to this charity work. And I thought, I know what I’ll do. I’ll write a book thinking that I make a lot of money from that. But that hasn’t happened so far. But that was the original intent. So part of the money that I received from sales of books and from speaking goes overseas to Japan to this charity, to people who still work with it. So that is really how the idea of writing the first book came up.
[00:03:27.560] – Speaker 2
But tell us what the topic of your first book?
[00:03:30.230] – Speaker 1
The topic of my first book was substitute teaching, because I did it and I loved it. And I didn’t know anyone else who loved it. Like, I really loved the job. I love going in and meeting new classes and getting the kids on my side and having fun with them. And they had a fun day. And that wasn’t the normal experience. And I thought, you know what? This can change this culture. It needs to change. It can change. And so I started writing that first book.
[00:03:55.450] – Speaker 2
And they don’t teach you how to be a substitute teacher in teacher’s college.
[00:04:00.560] – Speaker 1
No. So when I went to teacher’s college quite a while ago, there was nothing like no training at all on being occasional teacher. Nowadays, the professors do mention it here and there, but there’s only one University in Ontario that has a course. It’s a quarter credit course that you can choose if you want, on occasional teaching or substitute teaching. So it’s still a big area of need for the professional development for teachers.
[00:04:26.690] – Speaker 2
But like what? 99.9% of teachers probably start out occasional.
[00:04:31.800] – Speaker 1
In Ontario, by law, you have to be an occasional teacher. It works out to being the first two years before you can be permanent. So every single Ontario teacher is occasional before they’re permanent.
[00:04:44.210] – Speaker 2
Okay, so when did you write that book? It feels like forever ago.
[00:04:48.930] – Speaker 1
2016, I think.
[00:04:50.630] – Speaker 2
Yeah. So that was forever ago in today’s world, right? 2016, I don’t think we had sent billionaires to space yet.
[00:04:58.260] – Speaker 1
We had not.
[00:05:00.390] – Speaker 2
That’s my measurement. So if you know somebody who is in teachers College who is just starting their teaching career right now, I’m going to link. It’s not an affiliate link. It’s just a straight link to Amazon where you can check out substitute teaching. And the thing that I remember when I was speaking to my children’s teachers about it because I gave everybody at our children’s school a copy is they said, oh, there’s like these pages at the back that are photocopyable. There’s no Copyright on them. You’re saying, take these photocopies. And this is when you show up there for when you tell us what are these pages for and why are they so special and helpful?
[00:05:37.990] – Speaker 1
Yeah. So one of the things that happens when you show up as a substitute teacher is teachers have been called away because of an emergency. And so they haven’t been able to leave any day plans. And so then it’s oh, my goodness, what do I do with students for a full day with no plans? So there are plans for kindergarten to grade eight, full day. It’s broken into four sections. So four quarters of the day with all lessons, things you can photocopy the lesson plan right there kindergarten to grade eight for when there’s no day plans left.
[00:06:09.170] – Speaker 2
And there’s also some of the things that I think are really great. We’re going to get into the book. But I think why I’m spending time on this is because really it speaks to the posture you take towards the work you do. It’s not from an academic theoretical quantification. It’s like this is real world. And now I’m not dismissing academic theoretical text. Those are very helpful. In fact, you probably read a lot of them in preparation of this for your work. But some of the things I thought really great when we would talk about it is you share with me, like the types of shoes you should keep in your car. When I do workshops with adults, I use the Cindy Craik. Can you just share a few little like I want you to share some of the other types of things you write about.
[00:06:52.470] – Speaker 1
Like what you said before that I love research. I do love research. And I read professional books. I read the latest research, the academic journals. I read it all. And then I take it and I apply it to practical things teachers can do because teachers need hands on practical things with a few funny stories thrown in. For example, when my grade one student asked me to how to spell Iguana and I asked him how do you have an Iguana? And he said no, my Iguana died. But anyway, the Iguana made it into the family portrait I noticed later I had in funny stories so that it’s funny and then also practical steps. So when you are an occasional teacher, a substitute teacher, and you’re going into the classroom and the kids are not listening, if they’re older, I start telling a ghost story now. Not too scary a ghost story because some of the kids do get nightmares and I tell them that I get nightmares and I have ghost stories on my blog. People can just take them if they like that are appropriate for kindergarten to grade eight. They all love them. You tell a ghost story, they start listening.
[00:07:59.080] – Speaker 1
Or like if you have a kindergarten class and you need them to listen, you should pull out a puppet. And if you don’t have a puppet, you can just take off one of your socks and put it on your hand and pretend it’s a puppet and they will come over and sit down. They will not sit down because I said sit down. But my smelly sock puppet tells them to sit down and they will sit down. So right there’s. Just like practical tips like that.
[00:08:18.800] – Speaker 2
I will tell you, with that sock puppet inspiration, I was helping out a group and there was a bunch of kids that the parents were off doing something. And I was in a room kind of just like watching over these kids in grade, maybe like one through four, and it’s in a community center. And so in one corner was like, I guess sports type equipment. There’s like pylons and hula Hoops and stuff. And these kids were getting restless. And so I set up I took a pylon of hula hoop and like some pennies. And I set up there’s twelve kids. I said, okay, you’re in teams of three. And I set up like a little mini obstacle course. And I figured for a half an hour these kids tried to beat each other, like running around the pylons hula hooping, getting a Penny on running back, putting a Penny on the next person. And it was so great. But you also talked about like, for example, you talk about making sure you have flats or whatnot in your car for when you have to do yard duty, because when you’re doing substitute teaching, you might be on yard duty that day.
[00:09:20.290] – Speaker 1
That’s right. And also I have a handheld whistle because you do often need a whistle for yard duty or for gym class. But the regular whistles kept ending up at the bottom of my purse with the Tic TACs and the pencil shavings. So now I have a handheld whistle that you like squeeze. And I recommend everyone gets a handheld whistle around Amazon. There’s just so many tips that you can just really useful things that you can use and do in the book.
[00:09:46.240] – Speaker 2
Right. And like, I want to call your book The Power of Bribery. You get kids to listen by like, all right, listen, there’s candy. I’ll give it to you if you do what I say. And honestly, if you’re a substitute teacher or an occasional teacher, you are not trying to raise the next Alpha Mandela’s and Albert Einstein. You’re like, how do I get you to tomorrow?
[00:10:07.710] – Speaker 1
Yes. And a lot of my substitute teaching has been done in Southeast Scarborough, which is perhaps a more difficult area to teach. And so in some schools, you’re not allowed to hand out food. And of course, more and more recently, you’re not allowed to hand out food. However, really, the teachers are looking for someone that the kids will enjoy and that they will want back. And so I use incentives as much as possible because otherwise you’re just yelling, it’s no fun, right? So I tell them I give a little sticky notes that have five minutes free time written on it. And I say very loudly, this person is sitting quietly. They’re getting a sticky note of five minutes free time they can use anytime. And then people are sitting down. And the hilarious thing is the kids who get the sticky notes hardly ever use them.
[00:10:56.780] – Speaker 2
[00:10:57.690] – Speaker 1
I let them use them anytime, but they hardly ever use them. But everyone’s sitting down quietly because they want a sticky note or whatever it is that you’re handing out.
[00:11:05.630] – Speaker 2
Yeah. And set up the Scarborough. What makes it difficult is there’s often a lot of people that are new to the country. There’s going to be various languages, various customs, traditions, and maybe are not used to North American style of education and summer coming right out of refugee camps.
[00:11:22.290] – Speaker 1
I had a little boy who was stealing food, literally thinking that would be the only food that he would have. So you’re dealing with some really difficult behaviors for some very serious reasons.
[00:11:32.630] – Speaker 2
Okay. I want to get to your most recent book, and especially we’re in Covet. But what I think we’ve seen is parents now have a better understanding of the classroom makeup, maybe because they’re seeing their kids online. And your most recent book is called what’s the Difference? Building on Autism, Strength, Skills and Talents in Your Classrooms. And the thing that really I find most interesting is you are a teacher. Is your day job, like Monday to Friday you’re at work, and then on the weekends when I come and see you often, I’ll see you. You’ll have, like, academic papers or student stuff you’re marking. So you have a full time job.
[00:12:14.440] – Speaker 1
[00:12:14.860] – Speaker 2
But you have this desire to teach teachers. So two part question. First of all, what’s the motivation behind teaching teachers? And then, second of all, you’re not a doctor. You were not like a social worker that worked with kids with autism. So where is the motivation to help teachers? To teach teachers?
[00:12:36.150] – Speaker 1
What I really try to do is pick gaps in the system where teachers are expected to do things that we’re not trained for, like substitute teaching. Right. We’re not trained for it, but we’re expected to do it. And so what I really saw was that more and more students are integrated into mainstream classes who need more help. But the teachers don’t have any special education training, most of them. And so my goal for helping teachers is to help them. Most of them, they’re not going to go back to school to take courses to do that. So here’s a book that’s very practical. It’s a quick read. It has worksheets you can use and sort of help them start on their way to helping these students be integrated into their classroom without having to do a whole separate program for those students, which is what a lot of teachers are doing right now, two separate programs. So they’re doing double the work. And I’m like, we don’t have to do that. Let’s get a book out there to show them how they can do just one program for their whole class.
[00:13:37.950] – Speaker 2
And in addition to you do workshops as well. It’s not just limited to the books. And you speak so tell me about this most recent one book, Autism and Teaching. And so where is the gap there? And what problem does it solve?
[00:13:52.890] – Speaker 1
Most classrooms in Ontario would have one to two autistic children in them. And I just want to pause here to say that in education before, we have said children with autism because we don’t want the autism to be the defining factor in their life. However, the autistic community has let us know that they prefer autistic children, an autistic person because they do see it as part of their identity. And with autism sounds like a disease. So I will be saying as much as I can remember, autistic students. So we have one to two autistic students in our classes and again, with no training. And what’s being said by the province is that studies have shown that integration works better for these students. The part they leave out is that the studies have shown that integration works well when there’s proper support. However, there is not proper support in the system because there is not the money for the educational assistance to be with those students individually, which is what should be happening. So how do we as teachers help these students who we have all the time in our classes, have a good year? How do we have a good year?
[00:15:09.480] – Speaker 1
How do the other students have a good year? And really, what I’m trying to answer is it’s a mindset change, right? We need to change our mindset. And this is so a part of culture now culture is growing to include more and more things in our definition of normal. We have such a small definition of normal and everything outside it was specialized, but now our definition of normal is growing. And so how do we include our autistic students and help sort of normalize the autism in our class? Because truthfully, we probably have autistic friends and didn’t know they were autistic. There’s people out there who have been inventing things, business leaders who are autistic, and we didn’t know it. And so now, like, I think I hope part of what the book does is just increase the awareness that autism is more normal than what we thought.
[00:16:02.670] – Speaker 2
So you mentioned something there. The way you discovered the autism community you wanted to be described. Can you just flush that a bit more?
[00:16:10.620] – Speaker 1
Sure. So like you said, I love research. And so in the research I did, I found this website called WrongPlanet. Net. And it’s by autistic people for autistic people. And they have so many platforms like dating or eye contact or how to do homework or how to make friends or how to get a job. And Wrong planet.net is quoted many times in academic research. It’s amazing. And so many times I saw they were saying, no, we want to be called autistic people, not somebody with autism. And also they have a stating nothing about us without us. And so I have this one group out of Australia whose research I love because it always includes an autistic researcher. And in my book, I interviewed about 25 people, and three of those people were autistic. And before we published the book, I sent the cover to friends with autistic children to see if they liked it, trying to include them as much so that the book would have also their point of view in it.
[00:17:19.130] – Speaker 2
Yeah. You know, that’s fascinating. Like, if you think about it, I wanted to make it kind of totally ridiculous. We wouldn’t call somebody who is 65, somebody with tallness. Right. We would call them a tall person. When you put it in that kind of like ridiculous context, you’re like, oh, yeah, my gosh, why would I not? I’m not trying to cure this person of who they are.
[00:17:41.390] – Speaker 1
[00:17:41.890] – Speaker 2
I’m trying to make it as inclusive as possible.
[00:17:45.810] – Speaker 1
Right. Help them. Because obviously there are some difficulties. Stereotypically autistic people have especially sensory issues where things are too bright or too loud. And we do want to help with that. In the classroom.
[00:17:58.470] – Speaker 2
I think we were talking about like before this was really talked about, you might have a student your class, you just like would yell and the teacher would have no idea what to do.
[00:18:08.710] – Speaker 1
Right. So a lot of autistic students do have sensory issues. And so especially when they’re younger, it often takes a while for them to really be able to express themselves or know what their issues are. And so if you’re teaching primary, you’re often helping those children figure out what bothers them because they don’t know. Are the lights too bright? Is the tag on the clothes? Itching them. Is there a smell they don’t know? And so they just act out. And the behavior is trying to reduce the sensory issues they’re having. And so, yeah, you can have students who just yell. And it’s really like being a Detective. It really and truly is like you’re looking around to see what it is and you’re eliminating things and it takes a while. This is the thing. There’s no overnight fix. If I had an overnight fix, I would be rich. Right. There is no overnight fix. You just have to take things one at a time, try to isolate them, talk with the parents and ask them to send their child with all their clothes inside out one day. So there’s no Tags or seams touching them. Right.
[00:19:16.060] – Speaker 1
And I tell teachers, too, like, if they’re taking off their socks, it’s probably because of the scene. Turn the socks inside out, send them to the bathroom to turn their Tshirt inside out. And if that doesn’t work, then maybe have the students not eat in the class. Maybe have the students eat in a lunchroom. And that way the classroom has no food smells and see if that works. Right. It really is Detective work.
[00:19:37.380] – Speaker 2
Yeah. And the stuff you’re talking about is not difficult, but it’s definitely probably not something that would cross your mind normally. That’s the difficult part, I think is like making those solutions part of your pattern or process. So tell me a bit more about your experience teaching autistic children and how did that inspire you? I mean, you talked about the gap, but you must see lots of gaps. So what inspired you about that? To do this?
[00:20:04.400] – Speaker 1
Yes. So funny. Paula Clutch wrote a book called You’re Going to Love This Kid, about autism. And it’s just so true about autistic children. As you work with them, you really get to know their personality. And it really is so fun. And so many teachers I spoke with, like, they really do love it, but when you first start, it feels as a teacher, so overwhelming. And if they’re yelling every day, all day, that’s tiring. And so often teachers think they’re not doing a good job when really they’re doing a great job. And so my goal with the book is to help teachers so they can help the students because we want the students to have fun. Like, I remember this one autistic boy, his teacher and I, he always left the room, so I taught him. Jim, his former teacher and I talked and we agreed that I would give him a little bit of chips if he stayed in the room the whole time. And so the first time in three months, he stayed in the room the whole time. And so I had a little thing of crinkles. And I said, oh, here you go.
[00:21:03.760] – Speaker 1
You stayed in the room the whole time. And we had talked about it. And here’s the chips. And he took one look and he said, they’re not lays. And he walked away. I had the wrong kind of chips for the students. That’s what it’s like with autistic children. They have so many talents. Really, so often autism is spoken about as though it’s just something bad, but nobody talks about the strengths. Like, I had a student who, if he knew your birthday, he could tell you what day of the week it was in any year. And he would say, miss you all When’s your birthday? And I would say, you know, and he would say July 15. And I would say, that’s right. What day was I born on? And he would say Saturday. And we would use that in the classroom during reading or his knowledge of numbers. And really, like, when you find their strengths, they’re so excited. The other kids are excited because they can’t do that in memory. Excellent memory is a really common thing in autistic students. So to help them feel like, oh, I’m doing something well, not just I’m surviving, but I’m thriving.
[00:22:12.600] – Speaker 1
That’s what I wanted for these students who you really end up loving.
[00:22:17.790] – Speaker 2
My oldest son had a positive experience just like that. Where the teachers obviously at our school, the teacher who is responsible for helping autistic students. She’s great. And she helped her students and other students like my son, understand how to be at their best with this student and Connor and this young man became they were great friends at school, and he was also great with numbers and birthdays. And he remembered everybody, not just five or six, but like 30 or 40 different people’s birthdays. And he loved he got so excited for the person when the birthday came up. And one of the things I talked about with our father, I talked about this in a video from a couple of years ago about cheering people on. And this kid had that naturally that when you would show up when it was your birthday, he would be like, it’s your birthday. This is amazing. And it was just such a great thing. But if they hadn’t discovered that this was his thing, he wouldn’t be able to be a full version of himself and whatnot. So if you listen to this often, you know, Naomi helps write the questions, and she’s using big words for me here.
[00:23:23.540] – Speaker 2
So I have to read it. I have to read it, then make it sound normal for me. And this is a very good question. She’s written to help me, and I’m just going to read it because she’s written so eloquently. But the mechanisms of the modern classroom have evolved immensely over the past two years because of remote learning, or I would say I have hesitation to say learning over remoteness. I’m not sure if the learning has to say, how do you envision the teaching profession evolving because of the way we’ve had to engage with students.
[00:24:00.690] – Speaker 1
So it’s so funny because I don’t know if I can envision how it’s going to be because how the government decides to do it might be different than what I envisioned. But I certainly have hopes. Last year, as you know, I taught online the whole year, and it was very difficult. And I loved it really my most difficult year in all of my teaching, I worked the hardest I’ve ever worked. And that’s really saying something.
[00:24:28.410] – Speaker 2
You’ve been teaching a long time.
[00:24:29.780] – Speaker 1
Yeah. Next year it’ll be 25 years.
[00:24:32.350] – Speaker 2
[00:24:33.390] – Speaker 1
Yeah. Definitely the most difficult year. And I loved it. And now I feel very confident in teaching online. And I have to say what I really hope is that in the future there will be more educational models in the public school system instead of just one, because some students say so thrived in the online environment, they did better than they’ve ever done. And it’s for sure the educational model for them. And so I really do hope that online leading with nice go away. I hope it’ll always be an option so that the students who thrive in that model can learn in that model and the students who don’t can learn in another model. I hope that not only online and in person classes will continue. I hope that there will be many different educational models, maybe self directed models or more exploratory learning models. I just think the more you have, the more students can find what works for them. And I think it’s so great that there’s online learning right now because that so works better for some students.
[00:25:40.240] – Speaker 2
Now, I want people to understand this because I don’t go home and talk about my bank teller, the local barista. I’m not like having discussions over dinner with my wife about that. But teachers like we have these discussions, but we have opinions on so much. And I think it’s important to note, if you’re listening to this Amanda, she takes her job personally. What personal means to Amanda is last Christmas, my mom and Amanda drove around for the day just visiting each student in person.
[00:26:14.530] – Speaker 1
That was in your online class and delivering presents.
[00:26:17.730] – Speaker 2
Yeah. You live streamed it?
[00:26:19.140] – Speaker 1
Yeah, that’s right. We were online the whole day.
[00:26:22.770] – Speaker 2
Did you do it in one day or did it take day and a bit?
[00:26:25.200] – Speaker 1
No, we did it in one day. We did it twice at Christmas and the end of the year. And it was the class for the day. So the kids were doing work like I had worked for the kids, but I was going around in our livestream so they could see when I got to somebody’s house, they would all yell hello to that person.
[00:26:41.670] – Speaker 2
And your online class was like the area was massive, right?
[00:26:46.180] – Speaker 1
Yes. I didn’t have students from one school. I had students supposedly from one area. But we were north to south to just south of Bluer and east to the Dom Valley and west to just past the 400.
[00:27:05.780] – Speaker 2
Yes. For those of you who are not familiar with Toronto, we’re talking probably about like a 30 square kilometer, 20 square kilometer area. So that’s quite large.
[00:27:20.050] – Speaker 1
If you’re in Toronto, that’s large. Maybe if you’re in Northern Ontario, they’d be like, what’s that?
[00:27:24.520] – Speaker 2
Yeah, exactly. That’s where the grocery store is. If you’re in a place. If you’re in the States. Yuill, have to Google that.
[00:27:31.080] – Speaker 1
I’m sorry, I don’t know the miles. We don’t know the miles.
[00:27:33.920] – Speaker 2
But it took all day from like 830. You got about 430 or something.
[00:27:37.290] – Speaker 1
Yeah, that’s right, 830. And then the last day we didn’t get home until like 630, it was long.
[00:27:43.090] – Speaker 2
I think the other kind of subtext to this conversation is that being intentional about learning how to be a better teacher doesn’t have by accident. It takes effort. So if you’re a teacher listening to this, there you go. You have some new tips and ideas on how to up your game if you’re a parent. What I want you to take away from this is talking to your child about how have you experienced this in your class and just having a conversation to raise awareness. If you’re a leader, I think the important thing that you can take away from this and you know this already that different people require different motivators and they behave differently and they have different communication styles. But what you may not automatically assume is that you probably have predefined ideas of what those categories are. And you probably have some people on your staff or that report to you or that work in your organization that actually are farther outside those norms than you realize. And they’re not a bad employee. They’re not lazy. They’re not whatever. They just aren’t doing it the right way. There’s a guy I worked with when I worked in the College system that just did not he was not successful at all.
[00:28:52.550] – Speaker 2
And he bounced around in three or four different jobs before finally, they just didn’t renew his contract. And we connected recently on LinkedIn. And now he’s like a partner at his accounting firm, and he takes care of a very specific group of companies. Right. And he’s excelling. And when I talked to him, oh, yeah, this reminds me of our conversations from back in the day. So it was still that way. But clearly the company he’s working for now discovered his strengths, and he’s really excelling now. And it’s because a boss, a leader, said, oh, I need to reexamine my mold.
[00:29:25.600] – Speaker 1
Yes. So Donna Williams says something really great about that. Donna Williams says that we really need to be more accepting of eccentricity, not only in autistic people, but also in ourselves.
[00:29:39.370] – Speaker 2
That is great. Okay, cool. So where can people go to find out more about what you’re doing and read about your books and buy them and whatnot.
[00:29:47.590] – Speaker 1
Yeah. So my website is Amandajewell.com. There’s a blog. There’s ways to contact me there. And then the books are on Amazon and also Pembroke Publishers. And if you are an educational organization, Pembroke gives 10% off their books for educational organizations.
[00:30:07.870] – Speaker 2
Okay. If you are looking for a speaker that can tell some funny stories, transition that into really heartfelt tug at your heartstrings stories with a lesson about how you can look inside to grow, definitely emeduel.com. Her speaking rates are still reasonable. Don’t sleep on that. The most recent book, what’s the Difference? Building on Autism, Strength, Skills and Talents in Your Classrooms, is on Amazon right now. Her next book entitled My Little Brothers Are Nature’s Gifts.
[00:30:39.290] – Speaker 1
Why Everyone Needs a Little Brother.
[00:30:41.150] – Speaker 2
Why Everyone needs a little brother.
[00:30:42.810] – Speaker 1
That’s what it is.
[00:30:44.070] – Speaker 2
I’m the younger brother. Thank you so much for coming on today. There are some people we need to thank. You’ve heard her name already. Naomi helped coordinate this book. Amanda helped write. Chris Questions. Austin Pomeroy is on the ones and twos, making me sound much better than I do in real life and doing the audio edit. Jeff Anhorn does the video editing. So if you’re watching this on YouTube or social media, thank you for putting this together. Jamie Hunter is our content manager. So if you see this on social media, he’s the one who put together the post, planned it, put it out, wrote the description for this. Amber Tomkins is new to our team and it’s funny while we were talking, sure enough, there’s like three or four slack messages that I thought she was taking care of something so I could sit here and chat with my sister and then, of course, Alison, who I’m in the basement working like we all are is making sure the house is being run. Thank you to all those people. Amanda, thank you so much.
[00:31:37.040] – Speaker 1
[00:31:37.890] – Speaker 2
All right for more of this lady with nice.com thanks. Listening. We will talk to you again.