An education in autism

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Pre-primaries Matilda Driscoll, Olivia Johnson, Isla McPhilney and Aubree Scallan with April the Dragon.
Camera IconPre-primaries Matilda Driscoll, Olivia Johnson, Isla McPhilney and Aubree Scallan with April the Dragon. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Bridgetown’s St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School spent the week learning about autism, culminating in a visit from Paint Me A Rainbow and April the Dragon.

The incursion featured a story called A Tale of Two Dragons - Don’t Forget to Breathe — a story that aims to teach students about autism — and the creation of sensory bottles.

Paint Me A Rainbow founder Kylie Beveridge said it was important to start teaching children about autism from an early age.

“Children and adults living with autism have so many wonderful qualities to offer, each person is unique and different from each other,” she said.

“If we speak about autism with our children from an early age, they will learn to accept each others’ differences and this will help create an inclusive society.”

As part of the week, the school held fundraisers selling merchandise and Fran Wilson’s rainbow coloured cupcakes — with half the money going to Paint Me a Rainbow and half going towards the establishment of a sensory gym at St Brigid’s, to benefit its students that have autism. To coincide with the Paint Me a Rainbow visit on Friday, the school had rainbow-themed fancy dress.

Principal Carlo Pardini said it was important for his students to appreciate the differences between them.

“Our school is educating children about autism in order to foster a greater understanding of the disability and its characteristics, in school settings,” he said.

“It is our goal to improve knowledge about autism, leading to a more compassionate and inclusive classroom environment and a better world.”

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