Derick Mummery, Special Education Teaching Assistant

Watch Derick’s full “I Choose Possible” Story.

Derick is a loving and attentive father to his two children – Logan and Chloe aged 10 and 9. While they are lively, energetic, and spirited children, Logan and Chloe were both born with autistic tendencies – which was a struggle for both them and Derick himself. While unfortunate, the harsh reality is that some children can be cruel and unkind, which is especially difficult to understand for kids who are still young and growing up.

When Logan was in Grade 2, he first realized that he was different from his friends, which impacted Derick as a father who dreads the moment his children feel outcasted from their friends. With this situation, Derick immediately took his intuitive fatherly nature and assured Logan that he’s not different – just unique in his own Logan-like way. Logan’s understanding of his condition paved the way for Chloe’s confidence with her own autistic tendencies as he was the stepping stone who supported her in breaking her barriers.

For Derick, “just looking at [his] kids [is] an inspiration because [he’s] been learning so much with constant coaching, constantly reminding [himself] this is how [he] interacts with them, how [he] gets the most out of them, and how [he’s] supposed to act with them.”

With how natural and instinctive it is for Derick to be with his children, his mother encouraged him to pursue a career working with children and said “Derick, you’ve got patience, you’ve learnt so much with your kids, and they’ve shown you many different pathways on how you can teach and educate. It would be a shame if you didn’t do more in this field.

With the realization of his potential, Derick attended Sprott Shaw College to become a Special Education Teaching Assistant. Studying at Sprott Shaw was a rewarding experience for Derick because “there was a lot of classroom engagement [which] it made it a fun place to go learn – so all in all, it was a positive experience.”

Today, Sprott Shaw’s program helped Derick practice what he’s learned from experience with his children and apply it to a practical and sustainable life-long career in Education.

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