Globally, World Autism Day was celebrated on April 2, 2019 with April also being observed as Autism Awareness Month. BIS too participated in this programme, with different activities appropriate for the age group in different sections.
In the LP and UP, the stress was on helping children develop a more accepting and tolerant attitude towards differences. It began with a role play in which the teachers assumed the role of students listening to a story and how each was behaving differently, and focused on the need to respect individual differences. The children then made some lovely aids to help those who have anxiety issues.
Another activity stemmed from noticing an apparent gender divide – some preconceived and very biased notions about what appropriate toys and activities for girls and boys are. The children were asked to prepare a Venn diagram about what they thought were activities for boys and girls and what they had in common and used the discussion on this to help children arrive at the understanding that girls and boys, despite being different, can do the same things.
At a different level, the 8th grade came together on the 26th to hand make sensory toys for autistic children including sensory bags, stress balls and shakers. It took about an hour of work to create more than 90 toys which were then placed in ‘goodie bags’ to be presented to autistic children at Jai Vakeel. Through this, the students not only had fun, but also learnt about the positive effect sensory toys have on autistic people.
– by Ms Aparna, Ms Nisreen, Ms Vibhika, Ms Dolly and Ms Vaidehi Srinivasan