Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today is Autism Awareness Day at Glendale

Today we celebrated Autism Awareness Day in our classroom and throughout the building. Autism is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as I have worked with many students over the years who have Autism. We learned about Autism from 2 videos (links below), a book and through an interactive classroom discussion. First we watched a very informative video on what Autism is. I stopped the video at several points to clarify and answer student questions. We then had a great conversation about what students heard in the video and what they already knew about Autism. Next, we watched an Arthur video using Autism as the storyline. We then continued our conversation and created two conversation charts: a) What I have in common with a student with Autism b) What might be some differences between a student with Autism and myself. Today we focused on what Autism is and how to be a friend to someone who has Autism. We did not go into specific student examples, share names or go into how students get Autism. We kept our conversation age appropriate and very general. Many students said they knew someone with Autism in their neighborhood, family, activity or from a previous class. Students did a great job talking about this big topic.  

Video #1: What Is Autism: 

Video #2: Arthur - When Carl Met George 

Book: Since We're Friends (An Autism Picture Book) by Celeste Shally

Conversation Charts (click to enlarge photos):

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