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Learning Together, Friends Forever: Celebrating Autism and Diversity, FMA-Style

Learning Together, Friends Forever: Celebrating Autism and Diversity, FMA-Style
Posted on 05/03/2016

By: Susan Gurry Ed.D., DIR/Floortime Specialist, Cambridge Public Schools

AutismDuring the week of March 30 - April 1, The Fletcher Maynard Academy celebrated Autism Awareness Week with events and performances. Autism Awareness Day is officially April 2 of every year, as decreed by the United Nations in 2008. FMA has been celebrating Autism Awareness for several years now. 

One of the highlights of the week was our annual neighborhood walk. The entire school walked to Prospect Street and back, holding posters and chanting. Neighbors and local business people stood outside and cheered us on as we walked. Cars and buses honked their horns in support, and passersby waved and smiled.

Another highlight was an evening event at City Hall. On a very blustery early spring evening in late March, at sunset, students from FMA and King Open read their poems about friendship; other speakers included Mayor E. Denise Simmons, Vice-Mayor Marc McGovern, and Susan Gurry, Chairperson of the Autism@FMA committee. At 7:15PM, we counted down as we watched the city electricians light up City Hall in blue, the international color of Autism Awareness.

Finally, in dance, music, and song, the FMA students celebrated Autism Awareness and diversity in an assembly attended by parents, community members, CPS administrators, and local politicians on Friday, April 1. The fifth grade students hosted this event.