Story contributed by Mindy Buchanan, who is an intervention specialist at CNE Elementary.
In celebration of Autism Awareness Month, during the month of April CNE Elementary students have been learning about Autism and how they can be a friend to someone in their school who has Autism. CNE has a Social Communication program for students on the Autism Spectrum. In an effort to promote more inclusion and educate their peers, CNE had a day designated to learning more about Autism and promoting acceptance.
On April 2nd, World Autism Day, students wore BLUE to show their support. Staff had personalized Autism shirts too! On Friday, April 20th, all students had a variety of activities planned. In grades Kindergarten through second grade, students read a special book about Autism, completed a personalized puzzle piece to display in the hallways, and had a special book reading about Autism where students had open discussions, answered questions, and collaborated on ways to include and show acceptance to those students in their school. In grades third through fifth grade, students watched a video about Autism, completed a puzzle piece craft where they wrote about how they can promote acceptance and make a difference in their school, and had great conversations about Autism.
In addition to promoting Autism Awareness, CNE Elementary has been working diligently to provide additional support and opportunities for students with disabilities. CNE was recently the recipient of two large projects that were funded by Ripple on Donorschoose.org. This was a record breaking donation for their website, and every project was funded. CNE’s project included resources for their sensory room including a swing, trampoline, weighted vest and blanket, sensory brushes, sensory steamroller, and ball chair. The project totaled over $2,000.
Students from CNE also participated in the Clermont County Special Olympics on Saturday, April 21st at New Richmond High School. This was a very positive experience for these students and they placed first and second in most events.
It was a very positive experience for the students in this school who have not had a lot of exposure or conversations about Autism and other disabilities in their school. It was a great day of learning and celebrating differences and promoting acceptance for all students.