April is Autism Acceptance Month
by Becky Brewster, member of the Metro Schools Autism Team
April is Autism Awareness Month, now being commonly referred to as Autism Acceptance Month.
The most recent data, according to the CDC, has the prevalence of autism at one in 68 children being diagnosed with the disease. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. It is five times more common in boys than girls. Yet a cause and a cure continue to remain a mystery to the scientific community.
Here in Metro Schools, we are privileged to have a specialized team of individuals who take on the task of educating the teaching population in the district in order to better serve the children with a diagnosis of ASD. The Autism Team is a group of six highly trained individuals who have devoted their careers to serve this specific population and the teachers and staff who strive to make their education meaningful and purposeful.
The Autism Team offers a variety of trainings throughout the school year and summer to educate the staff working directly with students diagnosed with ASD. These trainings include (among many others):
- Managing Challenging Behaviors
- Social Skills
- Sensory Processing
- Functional Communication
- How to take data and use it to enhance the students educational journey
These trainings are open to all Metro Schools staff and are also available to individual schools as requested.
During the month of April, we challenge you to not only become aware of autism – it exists in exploding numbers — we challenge you to become more accepting of the students we serve and to those individuals you encounter in your daily lives.
Autism is invisible.
You can’t see it walking through the classroom door or maneuvering the hallways of a crowed school. You can’t see it searching for the right words to add to a conversation only to discover the conversation ended. You can’t see it sitting alone during lunch time when it would much rather be sitting with a group of friends. Autism is invisible, but the students we serve with this disease should not be, and the teachers, administrators, office staff, cafeteria staff, transportation staff and all school staff make sure that our students will never be left out. All of us at Metro Schools take on the responsibility of educating the students we serve, not only to traverse their way through their school years, but more importantly so they can become accepted members of their communities long after school is over.
To find out more about Autism, please visit the following useful sites: