Children with autism often cultivate compassionate relations within educational spaces. Sometimes the ripple effects of these heart-felt relations unfold in unimaginable ways. Amos Wood, a seven-year-old with autism, attends White Oak Elementary School in Edenton, N.C. When he started school a few years ago, Amos didn’t speak or have any friends -- that is, until he met and became friends with Raymond Brown, the school’s custodian of 15 years. “Mr. Brown started saying 'hello' to him and calling him 'Famous Amos,' Amos started saying, 'Hey Brown," when he saw him. He wasn't even saying 'Daddy' at that point, so it was really something." Following these encounters, Amos settled in with the school community and began making friends. After Mr. Brown was not chosen as a winner of the North Carolina School Heroes contest, Amos’s mother, Adrian Wood, a blogger for Tales of an Educated Debutante, shared in a Facebook post that she was heartbroken he was not chosen, given compassionate relationship Brown had formed with her son and so many other children and staff at White Oak Elementary. As a result, "many followers asked if they could donate money to the beloved school custodian. Within a week, they raised $35,000.”

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