Lighting It Up for Little Kids

Some concepts are very difficult to explain to younger kids. 9/11 for example, is one of the most difficult topics to cover with students (see the archived page from my old blog for more on this #shamelessplug)
So each of the past two years I have tried to explain what Autism and Autism Awareness is for 6 and 7 year olds. So what do you say to a young child about autism?
I have an aide working my class for a few periods a day. This started in the middle of the year because of a need and an availability. She gave me what I can only describe as the coolest way to inspire little kids to accept people with Autism.

Yes their brains are just wired a little differently, the experience the world a little differently than you might, but that does not mean much to a 6-year-old. Instead tell them, they have a different set of abilities, like super powers, that can make it hard for them to feel comfortable acting like us regular folks. Just like Superman never really felt comfortable as Clark Kent. Really, most heroes with some kind of advanced power would choose to be alone or with a very small group. They see things differently, they have a hard time fitting in with us, and it can make regular days very hard.
Unlike your comic books, people are not always celebrating the people they know that have Autism. Today, when you wear your blue, you are not just letting them know you celebrate these super people, but that you are going to be kind to people you meet, no matter how different they seem. You never know how important your kind action could be in someone’s day, or even life. Be kind to others, especially if they are different


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