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Joplin kindergartners experience Autism simulations

JOPLIN, Mo. – Kindergartners in Joplin work to understand what someone with Autism can experience 24/7.

St. Mary’s Elementary invited Easterseals to walk students through an Autism Simulation Activity today. Easterseals partners with families and school systems for a wide variety of services for school aged children and youth.

Students watched a quick Sesame Street video of what Autism is. The kids then did several things to represent what anyone with autism experiences and how hard things can be for them.

Kindergartners not only experienced what it can be like, but learned how to be a friend to someone with Autism. Through Autism education or sensitivity training, students can learn about acceptance and sensitivity not related to a particular student at school.

St. Mary’s Elementary presented a $729.76 check to Easterseals during today’s activity. Students raised the money during Charity Dress Day. They donated if they wanted to be out of uniform that day.

More about Autism

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today (AutismSpeaks.org).

Discussing autism and other mental or physical disorders with your children can be a tricky if you aren’t sure how to start the conversation. There are resources to help family, friends, co-workers and teachers create an inclusive environment.

AutismSpeaks.org offers a tool kit for teachers to help peers understand Autism.

The Ozark Center in Joplin offers treatment as well as support group meetings for people with autism, parents and caregivers. They also host a parents coffee, a social group designed for caregivers of young children with developmental delay.

Easterseals also provides this list of Autism Resources.

View the map below for regional centers for autism.

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