April is often recognized as Autism Awareness Month throughout the world - a time to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and foster support for individuals with Autism. This year, the Barrow County School System Special Education Department would like to celebrate the spirit of the month by providing some optional activities that ALL students and families can engage in as a part of Learning from Home.
A first step in celebrating Autism Awareness Month is to learn about and attempt to understand Autism. Older students may want to read about or research Autism on their own, while younger students could talk with their family members about Autism. Here are some basic understandings to start with (borrowed from the Autism Society of Akron, OH):
- People are born with Autism and while they look just like you and me, Autism changes the way their brain works.
- Some people with autism talk and others do not. Just because they cannot talk doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to say.
- Nobody knows what causes Autism, but we do know that a person with Autism will always have Autism.
- Kids with Autism are the same as other kids in a lot of ways. They like birthdays, swimming, and having friends.
- Being kind and compassionate is one of the best things you can do to help someone with autism.
Here are a few ways to be a friend, especially when we are all back in the school buildings:
- Playing games they like to play.
- Talking to them like you would any other of your classmates.
- Sitting next to them in the lunchroom.
- Visiting them at their house or Inviting them to your house.
- Show them what to do so they can imitate you.
- Being a buddy to them on the playground and at school.
- Walking with them to the next class.
- Supporting them with kindness and understanding.
Activities as a part of Home Learning related to Autism Awareness Month
The Autism Awareness Ribbon serves as the universal sign of autism awareness, relecting the complexity of the autism spectrum. The Autism Society says the different colors and shapes represent the diversity of people living with the exceptionality. Read more about the ribbon.
Activities to Support Autism Awareness Month:
- Download, print and color the ribbon or puzzle piece below. Use different colors to represent the diversity of the exceptional students and families with Autism. Consider writing something you have learned about Autism, like an extra-ability of someone with Autism who you may know.
- Take a picture of you and your family learning about Autism (resources below) or holding up your artwork (ribbon or puzzle piece).
- Post your photos on your social media pages and our post using #AutismAwareness
Resources for learning about Autism:
Websites about Autism
Videos about Autism