YCDSB Recognizes World Autism Day

girls face in a puzzle pieceThe York Catholic District School Board recognizes April 2nd, as World Autism Awareness Day. This day aims to increase awareness and promote understanding and inclusion for all students, and especially children with autism.

The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need for improving the quality of life of children and adults who are affected by autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives.

The YCDSB offers a wide range of special education programming for students, ages 4-21 with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students are generally enrolled in their home school on a regular classroom register, with age-appropriate peers.  Programs are focused to provide specialized instruction relating to their environment and acquiring the full range of academic skills.  The individualized program includes strategies to support academics at the appropriate level, communication, sensory-motor integration, social awareness, self-regulation, and transition planning.   Implementation of the uniquely designed program is a collaboration between the classroom teacher and the special education teacher with additional supports, as required. 

This Spring, the YCDSB continues to host a series of informative workshops for parents/guardians of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Building Independence is the topic for the fourth workshop in this series, and will take place on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Catholic Education Centre. Parents/guardians are encouraged to visit our website for more information and to register early as space is limited.

We are proud of the YCDSB schools that are participating in Autism Ontario’s Raise the Flag Campaign on April 2. This campaign recognizes World Autism Awareness Day, through the simple act of raising a blue flag. Raising the flag is a symbol demonstrating the unity of families, schools, communities, government, and professionals, and brings to light the struggles and triumphs of people on the autism spectrum. Other staff and students are participating in Autism Speaks’ Light it Up in Blue Campaign and wearing blue to commemorate this important day. Each of these activities help to shine a light on all of  those individuals affected by ASD.

York Catholic is also a member of the York ASD Partnership, an organization committed to improving the system of care for people living with ASD in York Region. On April 2nd, York ASD Partnership will unveil a new website to showcase its new guide to innovative community systems. On April 2nd, visit the new website at www.yorkasdmodel.org.