Adyana Barbarisi, a fourth grader at the Cunmings Elementary School, spoke about autism awareness at the Town Council meeting Tuesday night.
Following are her remarks:
Hi, my name is Adyana and I am a fourth grader from the 21st Century Program and a student in Mrs. Grayson’s class. So many children and adults are diagnosed with autism. Some children have a problem expressing themselves. When you communicate with a student with autism about a topic they may not be able to answer your question. They might not give you the correct response. Children with autism communicate differently but they are still trying to talk to you but in a different way.
Another symptom of autism that is very noticeable has to do with schedules. When you give a child with autism a schedule, you must stick to that schedule. If you change the schedule, a person with autism will benefit from having you explain the changes ahead of time. All of this is an important thing to remember when you are with a student with autism.
Students with autism are very sensitive. When a student with autism is being loud, do not go up to them and say, “Shshshsh.” Please use soft voices and do not yell at a student with autism.
To help children with autism, 21st Century and Mrs. Grayson’s classroom are selling bracelets, battery operated candles and glow in the dark bracelets for $2 each. The money raised will send a child to summer camp and some of the money will go to the Autism Foundation.
To help show people with autism that they are special and unique, we are asking everyone in Winthrop to Light It Up Blue. What I mean by lighting it up blue is to please change your white porch light to a blue light for the month of April to show your support.
All in all people with autism are very special people. Some of them can become your best friends because some have become my best friend!