Today is Dress Differently Day, an annual fund-raising event for Autism Queensland.
My son Michael, who has high functioning autism, goes to a tiny rural school, Goodwood State School, with a total population of about 60 kids.
A small school is good for Michael for many reasons including:
reduced sensory stimuli (less noise, smells, chaos, crowds);
smaller teacher to student ratio (the teacher has more time for my son);
everybody in the school knows Michael (and that he has ASD) and supports him;
the teachers always have time to talk to me about what ‘adaptations’ Michael needs to get through each school day (e.g., visual and written schedules; quiet area to go to when it all gets too much);
being such a small school, the classes are combined (eg., grade 3,4 and 5 have the same room and teacher) and this provides continuity and routine for several years (something ASD children love).
Michael’s s school, Goodwood State School, has been supporting Dress Differently Day every since we started going there 3 years ago. All the students dress up and donate a gold coin to Autism Queensland. The teachers get in on the action (last year the Principal got dressed up as a mad scientist).
Autism Queensland is a wonderful organization that helps children and adults with ASD and their families. I wish them every success with this year’s Dress Differently Day and can’t wait to see what some of the kids are wearing from Goodwood State School.