On Friday, despite the inclement weather in North Jersey, Ryerson Elementary School students participated in a couple grade-level appropriate events to commemorate the Autism Awareness Month.

The event, which was supposed to have place outdoor, was carried out in the gymnasium and the students enjoyed them while learning about autism, Debra Witers reported.

More than 200 blue balloons were released in representation of 1 of the 68 diagnosed with autism. Credit: Ryerson Playground

Jessica Purn, a teacher at Ryerson and certified autism specialist, had a conversation with students in order to test how much did they know about this disorder. Of course, older students showed to have more awareness in comparison to the youngest ones.

“The kids learn to always treat kids the same, and to be friendly, wave hello to them in the hallway, but to also understand that autistic kids take time to process things and may not immediately react”, Purn noted.

All Ryerson students wrote about what they had learned about autism on puzzle piece shapes of different colors or paper. Puzzle pieces were used to symbolize the disorder and the difficulty involved in recognizing it.

According to Purn, in New Jersey, one in 45 children has autism –also knew as a spectrum disorder– compared to the toll of one in 68 across the US. The disorder is more frequent in boys than girls.

National Autistic Society Autism explains this disorder is a lifelong developmental disability and affects how people perceive the world around them, and the way they communicate and relates with other people. While some of them might be able to live by themselves, some others could have accompanying learning disabilities and, as a consequence, they’ll need specialist support during his entire life. They can even experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells light or colors.

Light It Up Blue for Autism campaign

According to the organizers, with a big crowd of people showing a lot of support to accept and aware individuals on the autism spectrum, the third annual Light It Up Blue for Autism” event succeeded, despite the bad weather, last Saturday,  April 2.

“To see the growing support from members of our community is heartwarming, together we can make a better world for individuals with autism and their families,” said Campbell. “Please continue to Light it Blue through the entire month of April, as it is autism awareness month,”she added.

In appreciation to everyone who donated, promoted and collaborated with the annual event, Campbell and Haley said:  “Thank you, because you advocate, understand, take time, include, speak out, and make a difference,” and added. “…your generosity made our event special.”

Source: PerfScience