The Annual Youth Leadership Programme embarked on a remarkable journey this year as Year 6A chose to focus their research and exploration on the learning disability of autism. With a strong desire to raise awareness and foster understanding, the students dedicated their efforts to delve deeper into the subject. This report outlines the stages of their project, key activities, and the impact they made within the school community.
Stage 1: Research and Understanding
Year 6A began their project by conducting extensive research, utilizing various resources such as articles, blogs, and stories about autism. They explored the topic from different perspectives, ranging from simple learning through the cartoon "Nancy Clancy understood autism" to studying detailed articles about the incredible artist, Stephen Wiltshire. Through their research, the students gained a comprehensive understanding of autism, its meaning, and the expectations associated with it. The project was aptly titled "Autism: Speaking Out Loud," emphasizing the importance of open dialogue and raising awareness.
Stage 2: Expert Sessions and Real-Life Insights
To further enhance their understanding, Year 6A had the privilege of engaging with Dr. Adrienne Robek, a behavior analyst and psychologist. Her interactive sessions allowed the students to experience firsthand the challenges individuals with autism face. The students also had the opportunity to conduct an interview with the Grover family from India, discussing the unique challenges and difficulties faced by their 17-year-old autistic family member, Kabir. These interactions provided valuable insights and deepened the students' empathy and understanding of autism.
Awareness Session and Impact:
Year 6A's knowledge and experiences were channeled into creating an impactful awareness session for Year 5 students at the school. During this session, the students addressed the myths and facts surrounding autism, aiming to dispel misconceptions and normalize understanding. By initiating open discussions and promoting empathy, Year 6A successfully fostered a more inclusive and compassionate environment within the school community.
The Annual Youth Leadership Programme undertaken by Year 6A proved to be an outstanding initiative, showcasing their dedication, research, and commitment to raising awareness about autism. Through their project "Autism: Speaking Out Loud," the students gained a comprehensive understanding of autism, incorporating learnings from various sources. Engaging with experts and gaining real-life insights further deepened their empathy and knowledge. Their impactful awareness session with Year 5 students effectively debunked myths and encouraged open dialogue. Year 6A's efforts have undoubtedly made a lasting impact, fostering a more inclusive and understanding school community that embraces individuals with autism.