My name is Erin Simpson and I am currently a student in TWU’s Graduate Teaching Program for children with Special Needs. I am 25 years old, have a passion for all things creative and spontaneous, and love kids. I have been working with kids for about 10 years, and children with special needs almost 7 years. I graduated with a degree in Creative Writing from University of California, Riverside in 2013. For the past three years, I have been blessed to work with children with autism and other developmental challenges from ages 2-15 years old as an ABA behavior therapist.
Most people weren’t surprised when I told them I was interested in going into special education teaching. My mom would say I have the patience and the heart for it, and my dad would say I am finally following my heart. That being said, my road to this day has been a somewhat unconventional one. I entered UC Riverside with a biology major, then changed my major three times to receive the creative writing degree I have today. In summer during my first year in college, I was a camp counselor for a muscular dystrophy camp near my home. I knew after that week that working with kids with disabilities was what I was meant to do. When I returned after the summer, I applied for research jobs in psychology and special education and I even took a class called “The Exceptional Child” which was a graduate level class for education graduate students on children with special needs. I ended up getting a job as a researcher with that teacher, and was involved in autism research for the last two years of college. When I graduated from UC Riverside, I had no concrete idea of what I wanted to be, or how I would impact the world. I just knew I loved to write and I loved kids with special needs. A graduate student in the autism lab put in a good recommendation for me to the job I have now as an ABA therapist. I love it, but I feel like I can do more for this population.
Now my journey to being a teacher is starting and it is the most exciting time of my life!