Pupils in Helensburgh have been learning about the impact autism can have on the way a person communicates – and how that can have an affect on learning.
Now, they will join people all over the world in marking World Autism Awareness Day on Thursday 2 April. Colgrain and John Logie Baird Primary Schools will host a blue balloon release by pupils, parents and representatives of the Helensburgh and Lomond Autism Asperger's Society.
Arrochar and Hermitage primaries staff will discuss World Autism Awareness day with pupils, Kilcreggan Primary pupils will discuss the topic at their service and will have a collection at it for an Autism Charity.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Aileen Morton, said, “It is important that young people learn about autism spectrum disorders in order to understand the challenges faced by some of their peers. Awareness of how autism affects communication, understanding and interaction, will enable pupils to support their classmates and, building on this knowledge, take it forward into their home life and communities.
“The council promotes inclusion at every level and all staff within the education service have a responsibility for addressing additional support needs to children or young people for a variety of reasons, either for short periods of time or throughout their education.”
Policy Lead for Adult Care, Councillor Dougie Philand, said, “The council adopted a strategy for autism in 2014, to help those diagnosed with autism to lead full and enriched lives and become valuable members of the community they live in. One of the strategy’s key aims is to ensure care is in place for vulnerable children and adults in our communities to allow them to live active, independent lives.”
Angela Begg, of the Helensburgh and Lomond Autism Asperger's Society, said, “We are delighted that Argyll and Bute Council are supporting Autism Awareness Day by encouraging their staff to wear blue for the day. The balloon release with two local schools, their pupils and staff is a fantastic idea and we are excited to be a part of it.
“Autism has such a vast spectrum and quite often children may appear quirky, quiet or strange. In reality children with Autism are totally unique, however many struggle greatly with day to day tasks and socialisation that the rest of us take for granted. We hope the awareness campaign will help to make our community understand that if a child is in "meltdown" the reason for this behaviour is usually sensory related they cannot cope with noise, crowds etc. This can be exacerbating for our children. Instead of a stare, show you care by becoming Autism Aware!”
The balloons being released are biodegradable.
Blue has become the colour associated with World Autism Awareness Day and events worldwide during the past eight years.
Argyll and Bute’s Autism Strategy is here http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/argyll-and-bute-strategy-autism