Though there was heavy rain, the skies were blue on World Autism Awareness Day, as St Mary’s NS, Edgeworthstown, released blue balloons to celebrate the occasion.
The primary school held a number of events to mark the date, the first of which, saw the pupils of the mainstream school visit the special needs classrooms, of which there are four in the school.
Principal Helen O’Gorman reported that the experience was “very, very positive, and something we would look at doing on a regular basis”.
Teachers also got involved by means of a teacher swap, whereby teachers from the mainstream school swapped places with their counterparts from the special needs unit.
“For the teachers, it was a learning experience as well,” Ms O’Gorman adds.
Before the balloon release, a coffee morning was held, where parents from the school, friends, families and supporters were invited to gather.
As the time came to release the balloons, all of the pupils excitedly made their way to the front of the school.
Sian Hennessy, a parents of one of the pupils, got proceedings off to a wonderful start, reading a poem she had written herself about her own experience of raising a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Speaking as the crowds gathered at the front of the school, Deputy Principal, Mary Reynolds, explained; “World Autism Awareness Day celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism, and is also an opportunity to celebrate the different perspectives and viewpoints people with ASD bring to society.”
Turn to page 38 to see how ABC Childcare in Drumlish celebrated World Autism Awareness Day.