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Myers Celebrates Differences During Autism Day

students learning sign language(April 18, 2024) Students at Myers Elementary got the chance to step into the shoes of someone with autism during the school’s inaugural school-wide Autism Day. The event was organized by special education staff to teach general education students about the different ways students with autism approach challenges with communication and sensory regulation. 

Students visited four stations throughout the event, two for communication and two for sensory regulation. The first two stations exposed students to alternative methods of communication a student with autism may experience. At the first station, students were given a sentence to replicate in an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app on an iPad. The second station taught students sign language, where they learned to spell their name and sign common words. 

The last two stations exposed students to a variety of ways students with autism experience sensory input. The third station had one student listening to static on a Chromebook while another student tried to talk to them. The last station had a plethora of materials like tinfoil and sandpaper that students taped to the inside of their clothes and then had to perform exercises like jumping jacks or jogging in place, while other students had to guess how long they could sustain their activity without the material irritating them. 

As they returned to the classroom, students and staff signed the school pledge for Autism Day which read, “I pledge to accept, respect, and include people of all abilities including my peers with special needs and disabilities. Inclusion begins with me.”

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