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Nishuane Celebrates Autism Awareness Month

Monday, May 7, 2018

Staff members explain to their students what autism is.

Throughout the month of April, students and staff from Nishuane participated in a variety of activities to recognize Autism Awareness Month. To prepare for the month-long celebration, all staff members were given resources, from Autism Speaks, explaining the definition of autism, characteristics of autism, and strategies to support students with autism throughout the school community.

Each day in April, students learned about autism through videos, books, or school-wide announcements. To start the month-long celebration, students listened to a poem written by Nishuane teacher Tara Wentzell called “I’m Just a Kid.” The videos, such as “An Animated Explanation of Autism” and “Just Like You,” explained autism in child-friendly language and encouraged conversations about embracing our differences. Schoolwide announcements highlighted the talents of different individuals with autism such as Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokemon. Announcements also highlighted how to be a good friend to a friend with autism.

Interactive true/false boards were placed throughout the school. As classes traveled throughout the building, students investigated and discussed whether the statement on the board was true or false. For example, students read the statement “People with autism have many strengths and abilities.” The students then discussed the statement and placed the tag labeled true under the statement. For the statement, “All people with autism are the same,” the students placed the tag labeled false under the statement.

Autism Awareness Month culminated with a celebration for the entire school. Classes and staff were paired together for a Read-In to listen and discuss books about autism such as My Friend with Autism and All My Stripes. Students danced to the song “Cheerleader” as a reminder to stand up for and include all people.

Updated: 8/18/2018