April is Autism Awareness Month

In 2008, the United Nation General Assembly established April 2 as Autism Awareness day “to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.”

Autism what is it?

Autism spectrum disorder, represents a range of issues which usually revolve around social issues, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communications, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The Autism Society is a grassroots organization working to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues about people across the spectrum and advocating for appropriate services for individuals of every age. You can learn more on the Autism Society website, by following this link.

How do we support students with autism?

Our educators support all learners and provide inclusive instructional practices for students at all grade levels. Last year, the district autism team including Sue Holmberg, autism specialist and Jake Dorr, behavior/autism assistant, worked with staff and students to create a film, The Autism I Wish You Knew. This film highlights the misconceptions, challenges and supports available to students in our schools. View the film HERE.

Georgeann Harty is the school district’s autism consultant, which means she supports students and staff in all Corvallis schools. “While many of us are aware and celebrate neurodiversity every day, we want to raise awareness in our school communities that neurodiversity is a good thing and that all students are unique and learn in different ways. If I had my way, it would be Autism Acceptance Month.”

Please visit the Teaching and Learning Department page HERE for more information about special education in our schools.