April is Autism Awareness Month!! New Clip Art/Graphics & a FREEBIE to grab!!

I know I am a little late with this post; however, we are still in the month of April.
A little over a week ago I got an opportunity to connect with a fellow blogger after receiving a request to create a custom graphics set for Autism Awareness. Welcome Sarah, from Primarily Au-Some, who is such a sweetheart!! She teaches students with Autism and I am loving her blog. I took on the challenge and started working on a set of graphics right away!
Primarily Au Some
I am not sure if many of you know this, but I have a Duel Masters Degree that includes K-12 Special Education. After working with gifted students, I was eager to get an opportunity to work with students who needed a little extra help to be successful. I did not work with students in grades 6-8th resource who spent most of their day in general education classes. I LOVED working with the kids, but what most people do not know is how demanding the Special Education Teaching position can be. I am very structured and I like to be prepared ahead of time. There is very little funding and almost no support for Special Education teachers in Arizona. The demands are incredibly stressful and the paperwork is never ending. 
The Federal mandated laws require so much, but leave very little time or funding for the teachers and most students end up being helped by someone without a degree, which is terribly sad. Testing, paperwork, and meetings consumed most of my time..but the time I did get to spend with the kids, I will forever treasure in my heart!!  That area was not right for me in the current public education system; however, I do get to see some of my previous students every now and again, which is great!! In the little time I spent with those students, I hadn't realized how important I really was to them. They soaked up my lessons, were inspired to write and shared about their personal lives. 
Students in 6-8th grade need just as much love, attention, and time to share as much as students in Kindergarten. The only difference is that middle school students will not often tell you they need someone to talk to like a 6 year old..haha. My time teaching Special Education was not all peaches. There was one boy who tested me EVERY SINGLE DAY!! He was angry, mean, disrespectful & the only reason he was in the program was because of his lack of self-control. He was very bright and never needed help in the typical ways that most would assume. He needed to be motivated above all else. There were times I went home completely broken and in tears over this students' behavior. I tried everything I could think of, but this kids was beyond strong-willed - he was evil. He would say things that were so hurtful and not even blink in remorse.
After about two weeks, I spent an entire weekend trying to come up with a plan. My first priority was to try and figure out a way to communicate with this student. I needed him to let down his guard so I could get to know him. I went in the next week with a fresh plan and learned a great deal about this student just by taking the time to sit down and listen. The more I listened, the more he opened up. Most teachers would dare not take the time to let this boy speak more than he absolutely needed to in fear of what would come out of his mouth. I learned that he love basketball and that he was very good. I took the time to show up at one of his games and I was the only one there rooting him on. I don't think he had ever had a parent show up for anything. He was not poor and was not lacking material things, but he was lacking attention and love. 
I have to say that it wasn't all wonderful after that, but we definitely bonded and I was able to inspire him in incredible ways!! I was able to stretch myself in my position and learned a great deal about myself in the process. I never had to walk out my front door in fear that he would be walking by after I got to know him better..haha.. He lived close by my house and the first time I spotted him, I was in tears after having just left my classroom  early for the day. I learned that my dedication as a teacher went beyond what I could ever explain or describe to anyone who has never taught before. I loved all of my students... even the one I thought was evil...hahaha!
 My favorite students to work with (actually, they were all my favorites) were my two students with Autism!! Boy are they characters!! I love the way they think and I was completely intrigued by their ability to break things down to the very bare foundation in order to understand something. The questions were often draining, but I fell in love with those two boys!! They loved to make me laugh and would often come in to my classroom early with a joke they had come up with... usually the same joke in variations of funny...hahaha... All students motivate me and all students take up a little place in my heart! The politics and demands placed on Special Education teachers is beyond describable and I am in AWE of teachers, like Sarah, who continues to work in the field.
Well, can you tell that I miss teaching?? Is it completely obvious?? Or have I just bored you to death?? hahaha I do miss teaching; however, I feel a little better knowing that I still have a bit of an impact in the classroom through my art and all of your abilities to create such amazing resources using my art!! Before I share my art with you, I have a great resource that I thought I would share. 
I used this book to help younger students understand what Autism is and I LOVED how simplistic, yet thought-provoking, it is!!
If you need a great interactive book to teach students about Autism, then I HIGHLY recommend, "The Autism Acceptance book" by Ellen Sabin!!
Here are a couple of pics from the book I have... I really love how the author writes in such away to allow students to experience what a student with Autism experiences. It is a great resource to have on hand and you can pick it up from Amazon for about $15.00. You can click the link above to see this book on Amazon.  

Here is a Facebook page to follow and learn more about Autism...

And here is a great website I found called, Autism Speaks

Sarah from
 Primarily Au Some
Also created a cute reader about Autism using my graphics as a FREE download!! You can grab the freebie from her TpT store!!

Now that you have a little bit of resources, I would like to share my newest custom graphics set with you...
I created many color variations of each graphic to give you more choices. Most of the graphics can be used outside of the theme of Autism Awareness, so you can get more use from these throughout the year. I also left the puzzle pieces blank, so that you can add messages, words, or letters inside of the pieces that the students are holding. I hope these get your creative juices flowing!! This set includes close to 200 graphics in all!!
Due to the size of the file, I was not able to upload the entire set onto TpT as one set!! I was pretty bummed about it, but I was able to break it down into smaller sets. However, by breaking the bundle into smaller sets, I was forced to have to charge a bit more as a whole than if I offered the set a one bundle....SOOOO, I am going to offer this as an entire bundle from my blog, which will save you $6.00!!
EVEN BETTER - if you purchase this set from my blog this week, you get an additional $2.00 off!! Use the Discount code: 0D9J6F1O to apply the discount to your order. Click the Paypal button below to purchase this set and make sure to enter the code above to get an additional $2.00 off until Friday!!! The set is priced at $8.00, but you will get it for only $6.00 using the discount code above!!  UPDATE: the code is not showing up at checkout for some reason, so until I figure out what is wrong, I am disabling the discount code and dropping the price to $6.00 until Friday. You will not need to enter a code at checkout to receive the discount. I apologize for the confusion!!  Thank you everyone!!

If you would prefer to pay a little more (haha), you can click the images below to find them on TpT!!

Mini Puzzle Set...

Mini Ribbon Set...

 Autism Awareness Set #2 

 AND... I would NOT be The 3AM Teacher if I did not include a FREEBIE at 3am in the morning!! HA!! You can download this freebie from my TpT store. Just click the image below to get this set!! I also created a cute T-shirt design that you can purchase from my ZAZZLE store (which I have RARELY used). I only make a commission of 5% to keep costs as low as possible, but I thought this design was very cute!! You can get the design printed on pretty much anything you can think of!!

Come grab your FREEBIE!!!

As always... thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to read my posts!! Have a GREAT WEEK!!!


  1. This is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

  2. This is wonderful and your stories are great. It's unfortunate that your experience with the challenges of special education are not limited to your state. Thanks for helping to raise awareness and for sharing your stories!

    Autism Classroom News

  3. Hi Tried to buy the clipart set through paypal using the code but both times I found no place where I could add the code to get the discount. Please help.

    1. Hi Pennie!! I have been trying to figure out why the discount option to enter the code is not showing up, but I can't seem to figure it out. I have sent in help requests, but in the meantime, I am going to discount the set automatically to $6.00 until Friday. This way, no codes need to be entered.

      Sorry about that!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your stories! I have a little boy in my class this year that is autistic and I love him to pieces! Your graphics are fabulous too! I'm so glad you shared the TpT link for the book as well. It will go great for my "theme" lessons this week!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade


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