5 Apr 2018


Autism Awareness Week At Gems

“If you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism” Stephen Shore- Autistic Professor of Special Education.

What a boring world it would be if we were all the same! If we thought alike, acted alike and worse still, if we all looked alike!

The GEMS Cambridge International Schools- Nairobi family, is made up of different individuals and amongst which we have Autistic parents, staff and students. Towards the end of term two, we had a student-led “Autism Awareness Week” and just like the World Autism Awareness Day, the key objective was to celebrate the unique talents and abilities of Autistic individuals.

Part of what makes life interesting is the uniqueness of every individual; something we definitely celebrate at GEMS. When we gain more knowledge on Autism and the uniqueness of children and adults on the Autism Spectrum we become better individuals living in a tolerant society.

The GEMS Secondary School led by student leaders Mwara (Yr 12), Blessings (Yr 10) and Makena (Yr 9). The girls met with Ms Nicky the Inclusion Manager and came up with ideas for the school’s Autism Awareness Week. One of the things they were clear about was their objective to emphasize on acceptance and celebration of their Autistic peers.  When asked the reason behind the rainbow colours rather than the colour blue which is typically associated with finding a ‘cure’ for Autism as Makena explained. “Blue denotes trying to find a cure for Autism and that’s not where we were headed, we are celebrating people with Autism and celebrating Autism itself”

On Wednesday 28th March had a themed ‘home clothes’ day, in which every participating student contributed 200 shillings. The funds collected from the students and teachers who participated by dressing in rainbow colours, is going towards supporting the Special Needs Unit of the Limuru Mission Primary School. The funds are set to support the school set up a green house and provide lunch money for the members of the special unit (lunch costs ksh 20 per child). By end of day, approximately Ksh. 30,000 had been raised.

Living in a developing nation, the statistics on Autism prevalence in Kenya may not be as readily available, however, the dynamics of Autism certainly mean that many individuals go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Nonetheless, our focus as an institution should be supporting those around us, especially those who struggle with activities of daily living, whether Autistic or not.

It was great to see our students take initiative and use the resources at their disposal to support others.

Spread the love this and every week! #WAAW


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