Return to Headlines

Autism Acceptance Lesson Sparks Personal Reflection at Birch Lane

The focus is on acceptance, respect and understanding for Autism Awareness Month at Birch Lane Elementary School in April. During library media classes, students have been participating in activities that foster these values.

Fifth graders came up with their own precepts – mottos to live by – and writing them on infinity symbols. The infinity symbol reflects the idea that autism is a vast and complex spectrum and includes individuals with a wide range of strengths and challenges. It emphasizes inclusivity and represents the neurodiversity that exists among all people, not just those who have autism.

Library media specialist Evangeline King first read “We’re All Wonders” by R.J. Palacio to fifth graders, a book that celebrates kindness, belonging and friendship. As they began their project, she explained that each curve of the infinity symbol represents a unique way of thinking and seeing the world.

In coming up with a precept, Ms. King asked students to think about the values that are important to them as individuals.

“I wanted them to think beyond themselves, to think about the bigger picture and create a guideline of their own for how to navigate the world in a positive way,” she said.

Assistant Principal Joyce Larkin added that kindness is a daily expectation at Birch Lane, and promoting acceptance during Autism Awareness Month is another way to deliver this important message to students. It served as a reminder to understand and celebrate each other’s differences.