Roane County classroom changes one student's life

HARRIMAN, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A kindergartner in Roane County has special needs, but that isn't separating him from the rest of his peers. The staff and students at Bowers Elementary are changing his life.

"Kyrie is very independent, very courageous, very outgoing, very loving, just a 5 year old kid," said Greg Love, who is Kyrie's dad.

Kyrie Love is just like his classmates. The only difference between them is that he has autism.

"I call it a gift and a curse with his autism," said Love's father.

Kyrie engages in class activities, but he wasn't always like that.
Susanne McCracken is his teacher. She wanted the students to understand Kyrie. She asked his parents if she could explain autism.

"I believe it's our relationship that has helped Kyrie feel safe and loved," said Susanne McCracken, who is Kyrie's teacher. "Now, he is such a precious, special part of our activities, our class family."

Mrs. McCracken said all it takes is a little love.

"From day one, we established a culture of love in here," said McCracken.

Being a part of this class at Bowers Elementary School is giving him the chance to learn.

His behavior is improving. He listens to rules and lessons.

"I think the school have allowed him to do that," said Love. "His teachers love him to death. They're very patient with him and recognize his gift and allow it to grow."

His couldn't be more grateful for Kyrie's acceptance.

"Just thank the Bowers family and the kids, because I have to thank the kids," said Love. "They just embraced my son."