To honor World Autism Day on April 2, Bradley Gardens Primary School focused on its opportunity to participate.
So Bradley Garden opted to promote Autism Acceptance and NeuroDiversity Awareness throughout the week of April 24-28.
According to Principal Barbara Binford, activities for the week included fun spirit wear days such as wearing red for acceptance, wearing something that represents something you feel passionate about and wearing comfortable clothes to emphasize the need for sensory friendly clothing.
Bradley Gardens Related Services staff, Nicole Lewinski (Occupational Therapist), Paula Aichele and Jennifer Coppola (Speech-Language Pathologists) helped spread awareness and acceptance by sharing Autism presentations and having all of the Bradley Garden students color, decorate, draw and write words/phrases on infinity symbols, according to Principal Binford.
She went on to report:
“The Infinity symbol is used by the Neurodiverse Community to promote the idea of “diversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities.” The students in the Bradley Gardens Primary Autism classroom, led by Special Education Teacher, Jackie Coleman, along with selected 4th grade students, from Daniela Hudock’s class, participate in a program known as Bradley Buddies throughout the school year. The program, facilitated by Mrs. Lewinski and Mrs. Aichele provide opportunities for this group of students to participate in social activities with each other throughout the school year.”
Principal Binford also stated:
“This April, the group engaged in a structured recess period using sidewalk chalk to bring out the students’ creative sides. Previous activities this year included creating Halloween crafts, assisting each other in the creation of the infinity symbol using handprints, and cooperative game play. Both sets of students look forward to the monthly meetings. This program alone has increased social awareness of BGS’s autistic community and promotes social acceptance. Students in the program can be seen throughout the day greeting each other in the hallways and making a point to make each other smile.”