I wanted to create fun but useful activities for Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. I've been working on a bunch of preschool social emotional learning activities for lots of subjects, so I wanted to focus on autism and disabilities this month. I like to be a little irreverent and silly because I know my littles LOVE it when I don't act my age.
It's also important to me to create social stories and activities where we teach preschoolers, at a young age, that it's OK to talk about differences! So I started making preschool autism awareness month activities with this in mind. Mind you, I am comfortable and accepting of the use of a variety of terms: autism awareness, autism acceptance, person-first language (“with autism), identity-first language (“autistic”), and so on. I just think we need to be kind to each other! So here are three resources I created recently with these littles in mind.
This disability awareness activity goes with autism awareness month or other neurodiversity activities. This social story is great for social emotional learning morning meeting or counseling activities. Includes ORIGINAL clipart!
The digital activity includes a social narrative where students meet 10 different kids with varying disabilities who celebrate their differences. The slides are interactive and allow students to practice being a good friend and also share what they are good at and what they struggle with. Print activities include full-size printable book, small coloring book, and a 3-page worksheet activity.
MY FAVORITE PART: The original clipart, for sure. I have a young woman who I know doing some custom projects for me, and she does a great job! I love these kiddos!
This autism awareness social skills story is about autism, social emotional learning, and preschool friendship skills.
In the digital version, the first 13 slides are the social narrative where you meet a student who has an autistic friend, and he wants to share some better ways to be a friend (rather than telling him to “chill out”). The last 12 slides are interactive and allow students to practice being a good friend. Includes print version plus activities.
MY FAVORITE PART: Teaching preschoolers it's OK to have differences. They can even join in if a friend is happy stimming!
And then this short digital and print lesson titled I Can Be Friends with Everyone is about how to be a friend to everyone, regardless of disability or other differences. The last slides include simple drag-and-drop scenarios to practice the “friend” skills such as “Diego wants to play, too! Click to see what they say, then move him to his friends.” The lesson should take no more than 5-10 minutes, and then there is the full-size story to print in color, a short coloring sheet for class and a take-home coloring book that has the lesson in it, as well.
MY FAVORITE PART: This can be used for diversity and inclusion for just about any purpose. Just be a nice friend to everyone!