Springfield school holds bubble event to raise awareness of autism

Students at Perrin Woods Elementary School celebrated Autism Awareness Month with a bubble blowing event on the school’s playground Wednesday. This was the fourth year the school has celebrated Autism Awareness Month with bubbles. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Students at Perrin Woods Elementary School celebrated Autism Awareness Month with a bubble blowing event on the school’s playground Wednesday. This was the fourth year the school has celebrated Autism Awareness Month with bubbles. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, Perrin Woods Elementary School held their fourth annual bubble blow event with the goal of helping students connect.

Laura Brown, Special Education Specialist at Perrin Woods, said she created the event in 2015 in order to allow an open discussion with students about autism.

“Everyone has fun, everyone can do similar things even though we are all different,” Brown said. “Our neurotypical kids get to go out and mingle with our children who have autism and we all just have fun.”

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First held in April of 1970, National Autism Awareness Month was established with the goal of educating the public about autism. That’s the goal Brown said she hopes her bubble blowing event accomplishes.

Blowing bubbles, Brown said, is the perfect activity to allow students to mingle and play with one another.

“We want everyone to experience fun together,” Brown said.

During the event, students split off into classroom groups. Each classroom was partnered with a mix of students and instructed to share bubbles and talk.

“This year we have the different grade level sitting together with buddy classrooms, as buddy classroom they will get to experience the event with an older child, a young child, a child with disabilities, all together,” Brown said.

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In addition to holding the bubble blowing event, Brown also created an interactive autism awareness bulletin board.

The board features true/false questions like, “Some people with Autism use pictures, sign language or iPads to communicate,” and “Students in the Autism classrooms get to play all day and don’t have to work.”

“A lot of us are taught ‘don’t ask questions’,” Brown said. “During Autism Awareness Month we encourage students to ask questions and have a dialogue.”