Dear P.S. 135 Families,
Here at P.S. 135, we take great pride in being a supportive school community where we encourage students, staff and families to celebrate and embrace differences. Next Tuesday, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism in order for people to become informed and aware in order to increase acceptance.
In 2010, Autism Speaks started “Light it Up Blue”, which is a global initiative that kicks off Autism Awareness month every April and helps raise awareness about autism.
To acknowledge this special day and show our support, we are going to take part in the “Light it Up Blue” initiative by asking all students and staff to wear blue on Tuesday, April 2nd.
For more information and helpful resources on autism, you can visit www.autismspeaks.org. You can also check out great kid-friendly videos on YouTube such as “Amazing Things Happen”, “What’s Up With Nick?” and “Intro to Autism for Kids” and there is also Sesame Street’s “Meet Julia” for the younger children. Please see below for some helpful facts and myths about autism.
We look forward to seeing everyone wearing blue in support of autism awareness on Tuesday!
Did You Know….?
- Autism affects 1 in 59 children in the U.S. (1 in 37 boys/1 in 151 girls).
- Autism is not a disease, but a neurological condition which means the brain functions differently.
- Autism is a spectrum disorder. Each individual with autism is unique.
- Children with autism can attend general education classes, special education, gifted or specialized programs. Each person with autism has different capabilities.
- Autism does not have a “look”, meaning you cannot tell someone has autism just by their physical appearance.
- Early detection and intervention is key! Through different types of therapy and services, people with autism work hard to learn to do the things that do not come easy to them and they often see great progress!
Myths and Truths About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Myth: People with ASD want to be left alone and don’t want friends.
Truth: If someone has autism, they probably struggle with social skills, which may make it difficult to interact with peers. They might seem shy, unfriendly or socially awkward, but that’s just because he/she is unable to communicate their desire for friendships the same way you do.
Myth: People with ASD are intellectually disabled.
Truth: Often times, autism brings with it just as many exceptional abilities as limitations. Many people with autism have a normal to high IQ and some may excel at math, music or other areas.
Myth: People with ASD all have the same characteristics.
Truth: Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning its characteristics vary significantly from person to person. Knowing one person with autism means just that—you know one person with autism. His or her capabilities and limitations are no indication of those of another person with ASD.
Myth: Children with ASD will “outgrow” it.
Truth: Autism stems from biological conditions that affect brain development and function and it is a lifelong condition.