The History of SBSK (Chris Ulmer Shares the Story Behind Special Books by Special Kids)


so the last week you all have been shower in this channel with love and we’ve had 40,000 new subscribers in the past seven days I think it’s important with many people being new we backtrack a little bit and I tell you the history and the mission why I do what I do because I know it’s not typical to have a YouTube channel where a guy goes around and interviews people with a diagnosis you might be wondering what’s this dude’s angle so I want to tell you what it’s all about but before we do that I want to mention that throughout this video I’m gonna break up the monotony of my boring voice with short little clips of people I’ve interviewed over the past two years just like this one when somebody meets you for the first time what do you hope they say I hope they say hey hey Timmy you’re the sweetest person ever in this world when considering exactly where to start the story I struggled with where I should go but I decided I was going to start right when I finished college I graduated with the bachelors in communications and I encountered what many people encounter when they graduate college an existential crisis I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life I didn’t know where I was going and I felt alone and isolated you meet someone for the first time what do you want them to say to you hi at this time I thought I’d never be a teacher in fact I actively tried not to be a teacher because my mom was one she said I’d always be one and I had a bit of Punk rebel in me and I didn’t want to listen to her but what I did know is I should pursue what I love and I loved in college playing soccer it’s what I enjoyed more than anything in the world so I decided I was gonna be a college soccer coach at the age of 21 I moved to a small town in Kentucky of 4,000 people in coach to college while coaching as fate would have it the athletic director of the school offered to pay for my master’s degree in education the school only had three options I wasn’t going to turn down a free degree and quite on a whim I chose special education and to be honest I didn’t think I would ever use it I was just doing it because it was free right there in the camera people from around the war hey are watching us yes what would you like them to know about you I’m a very creative person I love my heart ISM fast forward two years I was still coaching traveling all over the Midwest and I was about to finish love free degree still not intending to use it but I had to do student teaching to finish it out so I go into the classroom and I’m bummed out because I don’t want to have to be there every day for three months but once again I’m not gonna turn down the free masters level education Sylas there we go the cameras in front of us if you’re ready to do this show me your biggest smile you have the very first day I walk into a classroom and I’m working with students who are emotionally and behaviorally disturbed I’m teaching one of the students a math lesson and he looked at me and the first thing he said to me was why should I trust you and I don’t know why but in that moment I felt like I found what I was supposed to do I love the fact that this dude I just met could look me in the eye and ask why I should trust him so I looked back at him and I said you should trust me because nothing would bring me greater joy than helping you reach your full potential some people help me were friends I’m not really sure if I do that or so because I really don’t know how I did a hard time making friends like I was hooked and I finished the program I had lived in that small Kentucky town for two years and I decided there was nothing I wanted more than to live on the beach so I took the 1,200 bucks that was in my bank account a car with a hundred and fifty thousand miles on it and I took a rumbling bumpy trip down to Florida where I found a job working with students who were diagnosed with autism and brain disorders and speech apraxia now take a look at this picture it’s one of the first weeks that I started the job on baby face dumb ignorant I mean for the learning opportunity of my life now with the benefit of Technology we’re gonna fast forward two and a half years and look what we turned into you can tell I aged a little bit I have my big gear to my hair but I want you to pay attention to the glimmer in my eye in that class I found something I never thought I would find in my life a type of human connection that it really so rare in the world today like I mentioned I find many things to be very surface very you’re following the rules of social interaction but with those kids it was just fun and we didn’t worry about what anyone else was thinking we could just be us and I really really enjoyed that so now you’re wondering okay he was a teacher why did he start filming different people what’s the story with that I never wanted to be a vlogger I was 25 26 at this time and all I wanted to do was teach nothing brought me greater joy every Friday my students and I would celebrate music Friday and we would sing songs I would bring in my guitar and it was really just an opportunity for them to practice social skills and human interaction [Music] I was really impressed with what they were doing they were breaking out of their shell and singing and dancing in front of one another and I wanted their parents to see so I started taking videos of the singing and dancing so I could send it to the parents and the parents absolutely loved it so it became a little thing every Friday we would make these videos and it honestly started to become my favorite part of the week during my second school year with these students it hit me I’ve been with them every single day for seven hours in the classroom and I’ve grown to understand them not everybody out there y’all people watching are gonna have that same benefit of time to understand their intelligence their humor most people won’t know how to interact with them and that truly bummed me out because nothing brought me greater joy than being in that classroom and I wish the world to see that so for that reason I propose to the students and parents the idea of special books by special kids and this would be a book series where students explain life from their perspective we worked hard we worked for months to put together a proposal and some samples and we were denied by 50 publishers instead of getting bummed out we decided we would make a Facebook page after six months we had 50,000 followers and ABC were all news picked up one of our videos and that sent us from 50,000 to 150,000 followers overnight once that video went viral I started receiving messages from people around the world who wanted to interview on our platform and at first I didn’t do anything because I was teaching full-time but after a few weeks it hit me what if these are people who were in my community what if it’s my neighbor so I went to my Gmail and I typed in Jacksonville Florida that’s where I was living at the time and there were 20 or 30 people who messaged me who had either a diagnosis themself or a kid with a condition and they what they wanted me to interview them like to see your laughs law I don’t I never like to see her sad cuz when she cries oh I did it I started travelling around my city interviewing people with conditions while I wasn’t teaching and the blog became interviewing people of all ages all diagnosis while still featuring interviews of my students in the class well after four or five months of that our blog was up to four hundred thousand followers and I was getting so many enquiries that I couldn’t keep up with it my students were getting ready to go on we were finished in our third year together and I decided I was going to take a leap of faith and do this blog full-time never in my life did I think I’d be a full-time vlogger but I saw a need for something I need to bridge that gap between individuals with the diagnosis and the general population if there was only a way the world could learn about these people they would want to include them that was my mindset so I set out and I became a full-time blogger Jeff if you could tell the whole world one thing about you what would it be now up to this point I didn’t care about YouTube I was doing everything on Facebook because it started as just a classroom blog I never intended for this to grow into what it is now been two years since we started this Facebook page and is currently at 1.5 million followers and it hit me it’s time to do YouTube I want to do longer videos I want to provide a more in-depth look into these individuals lives now it’s time for the hard question I read the comments after and I often see people asking about my motives are they spiritual are they political I want to get it out in the open and let you know that my mission is strictly humanitarian if what I do resident eats with you and your personal beliefs or politics that’s okay with me and I don’t want to stop you from seeing this Hubbard as you need to see it but I just want you to know that my only mission my only motive with this is to make the world a slightly better place and I believe we can do that through social media when the whole like in this figure oh the whole work done not hey well this channel is going to be used to connect those with the diagnosis with the rest of the world and even if you’re not part of this community even if you don’t know anyone with the condition you can get to know how to connect with someone who has a condition because throughout your life at the grocery store at the playground at wherever you’re going you’re gonna encounter individuals with all types of brains not every condition is physically apparent so just take the few minutes every week watch one of these videos and you’re going to learn about the true diversity of the human condition

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