By Karine Estadieu, Inclusive Education Coordinator
The beginning of April 2020 has been filled with two specific celebrations:
On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day raises awareness about people with autistic spectrum disorders throughout the world.
In the second week of April, Pink day is an international anti-bullying event held annually. Our Grades 3-6 participated in an amazing online assembly to celebrate three important values we want to build in TIS community : solidarity, equality and acceptance.
In the midst of a global health crisis, these two events give us a great opportunity to reflect about differences and think about the behaviour we want to build at school and in our community in order to acknowledge our differences and respect them.
Every day at TIS in the Student Services Department, we are fortunate enough to witness students’ success despite disabilities or learning difficulties. For instance, a child with autism spectrum disorder may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people, but at the same time they are also amazing friends and surprising communicators in their own ways! These inspirational growths are opportunities for individuals to persevere, and be proud of the uniqueness of a person.
With the coronavirus crisis, challenges affect everyone: students, teachers and possibly more so for parents. It reveals that we all react differently in front of a crisis: fear, avoidance, aggression, stillness, isolation, stress, depression etc…
What can we do to welcome these differences?
- Open mind and creativity to support each other: IT offers a lot of amazing tools that can allow us to meet as a class, as a classmate or even as an assembly! Online therapy or counseling sessions are also currently offered, as well as one-on-one sessions to the students who need it.
- Patience: We all hope school resumption will very soon. Meanwhile, we need to learn a new routine, how to face the frustration of being out of control, how to welcome each day with its novelty. It is fine not being successful today, we will try harder and differently tomorrow.
- Acceptance: We all have different backgrounds, ideas about the crisis or our needs. Whatever the colour of our skin, our gender, our religion or beliefs, who we love, or whether or not we have a disability; we are all different. It is crucial to accept yourself and others.
- Power of a caring community: Each one of us has the responsibility to support and care about others during this crisis and even after…
Be uniquely yourself!
Inclusive Education Coordinator at TIS. She is dedicated to the students who need some help in order to be successful at school. With a team, she works with students, teachers, parents and therapists to detect the strengths and challenges and to provide the most appropriate support possible for each student.
– Pink day: “The event started when students David Shepherd and Travis Price saw another student, who was wearing a pink shirt, being bullied at their Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia, Canada, decided to show support for the student by getting everyone at their school to wear pink the following day.”
– Every year since 2008,the United Nations Member States have been encouraged to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day