Celebrating difference, acceptance and inclusivity of people are at the heart of Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School’s identity. These qualities were on display when the school celebrated World Autism Awareness Month with a special day themed ‘We All Fit Together’ on Friday 30 April.
Students participated in autism awareness activities, a blue themed morning tea, and a whole-school liturgy to celebrate the richness students with autism bring to the school community.
Fifteen students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are currently enrolled at Good Samaritan, with eight students accessing the Amaroo Specialist Support Centre on a daily basis.
Nadia Huska, a teacher in the Amaroo Specialist Support Centre, knows firsthand the importance of raising awareness around Autism Spectrum Disorder, as her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
“Raising awareness is an important part of inclusion, as it helps foster an environment of tolerance and empathy,” she said. “It also encourages students to become friends with those who may be different from themselves.”
Mrs Huska said her personal experience raising a child with autism inspired her to pursue a career in Special and Inclusive Education and studies towards a Master of Autism.
“Teaching children with disability is a rewarding and meaningful career,” she said. “Having my own personal experiences as a mother allows me to provide professional advice, support and mentoring for parents to create the best possible learning opportunities for students at school and at home.”
Roman Davkovski, a Year 2 student in the Amaroo Specialist Support Centre, finds certain things in life difficult. His older brother Raf, who also attends Good Samaritan, said he wants people to understand that despite having autism, Roman is no different to everyone else.
“Roman is much better at Maths than I was in Year 2. It’s important to know that people with autism are still people and that you can have a conversation with them" - Raf Davkovski
Good Samaritan Assistant Principal, Sharon Smithers, said while it was a day to celebrate autism, it was also a moment to reflect and recognise what makes the school community so special and unique.
“I’m really proud of our school community, especially the way the children embraced the significance of the day,” she said. “When asked what they had learnt, responses such as ‘their brains work differently to ours’ and ‘being different is not less’ were amongst the amazing answers they gave.”
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