April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month

2nd Graders:  Celebrating Autism Awareness Month and Giving Back

Friday, April 15, 2016

April is Autism Awareness Month and Mrs. Lentfer’s 2nd grade class celebrated in full force.

Ben Zuver is like most second graders.  He loves being outside, he enjoys his friends, and he loves making people smile.  What separates him from his peers; however, is Ben has Autism.  Simple social and communication skills such as eye contact, verbal requests, and conversations are difficult for him. 

Autism (also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which can impair a person’s behaviors, ability to socialize, and communication skills.  The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.  The reason it is a spectrum disorder is because there is a wide range of symptoms, skills, and functioning for each individual.

The aim of Autism Awareness month is to educate the public about autism.  Mrs. Lentfer’s 2nd graders are completely aware, though.  They understand Ben’s differences, and not only accept them, but take it a step further by including Ben in their regular activities.  Ben, like everyone else, reads books, does his math, and practices spelling words.  When Ben needs help, he has plenty of friends lined up.

On April 10th, Ben threw a party to celebrate the amazing strides him and his class have made.  Ben also practiced the social skills necessary for hosting a party.  This included having eye contact, welcoming his friends, and thanking them.  The class enjoyed doing one of Ben’s favorite activities – Jumping on Trampolines.  Rather than bringing in gifts like most parties, classmates were asked to bring supplies to be donated to The People’s City Mission.  Later this month, Ben will be practicing his social skills again by performing a community service and delivering the donated items. 

Awareness is the ability to perceive, feel, or be conscious of something.  Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported.  It could easily be said that Mrs. Lentfer’s class celebrated Autism Inclusion Month instead; but, these kids have shown inclusion all year.   

Congratulations to Mrs. Lentfer’s class for being great role models and for an impressive donation to The People’s City Mission.