Monday, May 21, 2018

Autism Awareness at Edward Murphy Elementary School

 Autism Awareness inspires #newfriendships at 
Edward Murphy Elementary School

This past April during Autism Awareness Month, Edward Murphy teachers Ms. Alana Goodings and Ms. Cynthia Fugnitto decided to change things up. Their goal was to create programming that involved all students and staff, and give them the opportunity to get to know, understand  and befriend their peers with autism. Their creative, multiple programs not only heightened awareness about autism, it created new friendships. Here's what they did!

FUN 15 WITH FRIENDS EQUALS #NEWFRIENDSHIPS

Autism class teachers Ms. Alana Goodings and Ms. Cynthia Fugnitto initiated Fun 15 with Friends, a reverse integration program where mainstream students and staff spend time with students with autism to increase awareness and social interaction. Over 80 students and staff volunteers spent their morning recess, on a rotating basis, interacting with students in their two autism classrooms. 


Goodings and Fugnitto held a sensitization session prior to starting Fun 15 with Friends, where Issues like how to be a friend and sensitivities that a person with autism may have were discussed. Each of the 17 “friend groups” created an artistic tree that was displayed on a wall board outside of one of the autism classrooms, symbolizing new friendships. Goodings and Fugnitto would like to see this type of initiative continue, and hope to do so next year.

AUTISM AWARENESS LOGO CONTEST 

Teacher Alana Goodings with logo winners Daniella Alessi, William Campbell,
Jacob Caligiuri, and teacher Cynthia Fugnitto
Fifty-eight Edward Murphy students participated in a logo contest to promote autism awareness. The goal was to have students think about autism and what it means to them, and put it in their own words and drawings. The logos were displayed on a wall board, and reviewed on May 10 by judges Krista Leitham, coordinator of the Autism Speaks Canada – Montreal Walk, Wendy Singer, managing editor of Inspirations News, and Dolores De Michele, school secretary at Edward Murphy. 

The judges were impressed and touched by the sensitivity and beauty of each logo. The winning logo depicting a super-hero style “A” was created by Grade 5 student William Campbell. It was chosen for its message of strength and encouragement, and its replicability. Campbell’s prize was a pizza party for his whole class! 
Logo winner William Campbell beside his winning design "A"

Second prize went to Grade 2 student Daniella Alessi for the sincere message of help and friendship that her logo portrayed. The third winner was Jacob Caligiuri, Grade 1, whose logo shared love and friendship, synonymous with Fun 15 with Friends. It also had no words, representing the many people with autism that are non-verbal.  
2nd prize -  Daniella Alessi
3rd prize -  Jacob Caliguiri

1st prize - William Campbell


AUTISM AWARENESS LIBRARY 

Edward Murphy has also embarked on a fundraising campaign to create a book and resource collection of autism-related material in their library. These English and French-language publications are for kids with autism, their siblings, and teachers. Edward Murphy teachers have also began sharing lesson plans. They welcome your support by either donating at Go Fund Me – Autism Awareness Library Initiative 2018 or purchase a book on their wish list at Amazon.ca – Autism Awareness Library Wish List or Chapters Indigo Wishlist – Wish List: Alana Goodings. 

AUTISM SPEAKS CANADA – MONTREAL WALK - MAY 27, 2018 
JOIN TEAM INSPIRATIONS EMSB!

Join Team Inspirations EMSB to walk and raise funds and awareness for autism, and have a fun Sunday morning! This year, Team Inspirations, EMSB is co-chaired by Alana Goodings and Cynthia Fugnitto. To register, visit www.ascwalk.ca, and search for Team Inspirations EMSB. Walk dollars raised support access to resources, inclusive programming, services for young adults, community grants, and world-leading research. For information, contact Alana at agoodings@emsb.qc.ca or kristaleitham@autismspeakscan.ca





Ms. Gooding and Ms. Fugnitto would like to thank the Edward Murphy team for helping to make these projects work. They include Ms. Joyce Palmer  (behaviour technician from the ASD class), Ms. Fatima Beg (ASD child care worker), Ms. Karina Macri (school child care worker), Ms. Melissa Cacchiotti (school child care worker), Mme Aurore Chategnier (grade 1 teacher), Mrs. Alana Byer (grade 3/4 teacher), Ms. Elisa Giampa (Phys Ed teacher), Mme Alex Rubino (Resource teacher), Ms. Shirley Douglas (ASD behaviour technician took over additional supervision duties so we could run groups). A special thanks to Principal Mrs. Cristina Celzi for her supportive efforts, and Ms. Dolores, school secretary. Goodings adds: "We also had several student help set up the bulletin boards etc. I was so overwhelmed by all the people who offered their time and help."



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Journée Nationale de l'Audition - 2 mai / National Hearing Day - May 2

Free hearing tests on May 2 from JNA

Hearing loss is not only a "problem of the elderly.” Our sense and quality of hearing profoundly affects every aspect of our lives. It is essential for language development, for communicating with others, and has a deep impact on both physical and psychological health. It is essential to talk about the prevention of hearing loss and to help people of all ages and abilities who struggle with it. And that is exactly what Journée Nationale de l'Audition du Québec, or JNA, aims to do.

JNA is a non-profit organization which began in France, and has grown to include members from around the world. Their first Canadian branch recently opened in Quebec. 


They have great news to share! JNA Québec has declared May 2 as "Hearing Day” and will offer free hearing screenings all across the province. 

For appointments at your nearest location, check the web site at the "Participants" section here: https://www.journee-audition.ca/participants/

JNA Québec committee member Nechama Surik calls on health care professionals, teachers, media personnel, parents and everyone around to help spread the word and to take advantage of this offer for free hearing tests. 

“I suffer from profound hearing loss, and it is only through using two hearing aids that I can really enjoy life. But I also know that many feel that there is a heavy stigma associated with this,” says Surik. “Together, let’s fight this stigma and send as many people as possible to take advantage of the free hearing screenings and other activities on May 2. Together, we will build a better quality of life for everyone.”

For information, contact Nechama at bhpnechama@gmail.com, or Chantal Brodeur, Director, Journée Nationale de l’Audition du Québec at 450-278-7828 or cbrodeur@journée-audition.ca or www.journee-audition.ca 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Finding a summer camp for your special needs child

Finding a summer camp for your special needs child

By Fay Schipper

‘Tis the season to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and search for a summer camp that your special needs child will enjoy and benefit from. Yes, summer is coming quickly and you ought to be ready to embrace it.

Camp is a win-win situation for everyone in the family. It provides you with respite, and the opportunity to spend more quality time with your other children. It also frees you from having to think of activities to do so your child doesn’t spend all of their time watching television, playing on the computer, or listening to music. You may even luck into finding a great camp counselor who can become your babysitter during the year. Your child is the real winner here as she/he practices social skills, improves personal identity and makes new friends while at camp.

Sending your child to a camp can be a frightful experience for you on many levels. Rest assured, camp staff receive ample training on caring for special needs children.

Selecting the camp can be a daunting ordeal. Inspirations is happy to help you look for a camp that welcomes your child. A camp resource directory has been created and can be found on the Inspirations website, www.inspirationsnews.ca. Click on the database section, and look for Section 10. It lists day and sleep-away camps. Happy investigating, Sherlock.  
  
If you have a resource, be it a camp or anything else, that you’d like to add to the database, please email Fay at fayschipper@gmail.com.  

Fay Schipper is the volunteer database consultant at Inspirations.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fun For All Fair - Loisirs et sports pour tous!


  

BRINGING INCLUSIVE AND ADAPTED PLAY TO ALL!

Free, open to the public, fun for all ages and abilities
Snacks, crafts, experiences!
Parking, wheelchair accessible


Saturday, April 14, 2018
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

We are excited! The Fun For All Fair is just days away!! And we have a wonderful afternoon planned. Sponsored by Make It Matter, the Fun For All Fair has many missions. Perhaps the most important is that we want to make our guests, particularly the children, feel very special. And that's what we, along with over 30 amazing exhibitors, plan to do this Saturday afternoon!

The Fun For All Fair is a gathering of inclusive and adapted recreational resources that service the Greater Montreal and surrounding areas, all under one roof.  This is not your average exhibition. At this free event that is open to the public, everyone is welcome to try over 30 different activities at our exhibitors’ play stations. Activities include karate, tennis, science, ballet, soccer, wheelchair basketball and boccia, and much more. See our exhibitor list below! And for more details, visit our website at http://www.inspirationsnews.com/pdf_en/2018-04-10Exhibitorhandout2.pdf

Our goals are not only to share the wealth of adapted and inclusive recreational resources that are available to people with special needs, and have a fun-filled afternoon, we also hope to encourage other organizations to open their services to people with diverse needs.

We invite you to join us - bring your family and friends! There will be snacks, art projects, music, dance, and connecting with friends!

RSVP on our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/152062765490110/

BCM College students prepare decorations for the Fair!
Contact Linda at lindaminspirations@gmail.com with any inquiries you may have! We look forward to seeing you there!


Thank you to our sponsors for their immense generosity!


About Make It Matter:

Make it Matter is a new non-profit organization that funds project specific initiatives that support quality education for all learners. Their vision lies in their conviction that all learners, no matter their economic, social backgrounds, or challenges, are entitled to academic resources that will enhance their educational experience. The unique concept of MIM allows them to serve as the liaison between the Montreal community and the classrooms, where they are committed to creating a support system for administrators, educators, parents, and learners,  in need of financial assistance to ensure the success of every child's education. 



Thank you to media sponsor, Orla Johannes and Andrea Elias at The Real Parents Show on CJAD 800.