April is National Autism Awareness Month and we would like to acknowledge our students and families impacted by Autism, as well as educate others who aren’t as familiar with autism. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Due to these differences in how a child with autism may communicate this can cause a disconnect within the classroom. Autism can look different in every child; it is important to understand this concept so that you have an open mind when you encounter a child with ASD. The ways in which children with ASD learn, think and problem solve may look atypical to other non-autistic children. It’s imperative to share with children not on the autism spectrum to be kind and teach them to understand tolerance and differences in other children. The Partnership is intentional in its approach to being inclusive. All children of all abilities deserve access to high-quality educational experiences. Our own Early Head Start Director Shekema Crawford obtained her Master’s Degree in Education with a specialization in Special Education. In next week’s episode of “Planting Seeds with The Partnership”, Director Crawford expresses why she was called to work with Special Education children in her 20-year career, and how the classroom procedures have changed to create a more inclusive environment.
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