This week, Monday 26th March – Sunday 1st April, is World Autism Awareness Week (WAAW) 2018. Across the world, everyone will be trying their hardest to raise awareness of this condition, and how it affects the people who have it – and the difficulties they face. There will be fundraising events for World Autism Awareness, whilst also celebrating the most wonderful people we know.
So what is autism? Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Autism can make even the simplest of daily tasks that we do without even thinking about it very difficult. For example, when a school fire alarm goes off? Those pupils with Autism may feel very afraid and uncomfortable.
At Bryn Celynnog, we are fortunate enough to have an on-site CDU (Communication Disorder Unit), or as its better known as, HQ. Many of the pupils inside have autism. Perhaps you’ve seen some of these pupils in your classes? Something that seems second-nature to you, attending lessons with thirty other pupils is very difficult for people with autism. We are extremely proud of every single student in our school, but we’re always especially proud of the children (and young people!) in HQ who continue to defy odds every day.
Mrs Sussat, the HQ team, and all of its wonderful pupils have organised a jam-packed week of events, starting today!
From Monday-Thursday, our talented HQ students will be taking part in an Autism Awards Road Show! Travelling around Merthyr Tydfil and Pontypridd in a bus, then ending at the Senedd to present their Autism Awareness Film to the cabinet! This is a very exciting opportunity not only for the children involved, but people with Autism across Wales, and also Bryn Celynnog!
On Monday night, make sure you tune into GTFM for a radio show with HQ pupils, teachers, friends and family, to raise even more awareness of autism.
On Thursday, the whole school – you included! – is invited to wear blue for autism. Don’t forget to wear your ‘think autism’ sweatshirts if you bought one! £1 donations from each child will be given to the National Autistic Society.
The grand finale? Our very own premiere – on Friday evening, in Sony Theatre, Brigend! Parents and students alike are invited to this formal event, with an open bar, (and open mic!) to celebrate the fantastic work our HQ students have done. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Mrs Sussat.
|Autism Awards Road Show.||Autism Awareness Film premiere.|
|GTFM evening show.||Wear blue for autism.|
You may have already noticed that some HQ students and staff have been selling raffle tickets outside main, and perhaps during your lessons. Make sure you get your tickets – with prizes such as signed Welsh rugby balls, chocolate and gift vouchers, why wouldn’t you enter? (I’ve already bought 5 tickets!)
This week is a celebration of people with autism, their strength in overcoming adversities, their plethora of talents, and mostly their courage. Life isn’t easy with autism, and yet our HQ students just keep coming. You are all amazing.