GALLERY: St Margaret’s Academy show support for World Autism Awareness Month

St Margaret’s Academy (SMA) in Liverpool are taking part in activities to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder this week (ASD).

Coinciding with World Autism Awareness Month, SMA has a full programme of events lined up to help equip the whole school community with an understanding of ASD.

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Day today (5 April), pupils took part in workshops to help with anxiety and mindfulness.

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On Thursday, the school will host a ‘market place’ event bringing together a host of professionals. They will offer advice to parents and pupils who want to learn more about how they can support those with ASD.

Participating organisations include members of Liverpool City Council’s ASD training team, the Alder Hey assessment team, Relax Kids, Autism in motion, Autism Adventures UK and Autism Together.

The week will also include special talks from guest speakers Alex Lowery and Anna Kennedy OBE.

Anna Kennedy OBE, renowned autism awareness campaigner and founder of advice service and charity Anna Kennedy Online, will visit the school on Friday (7 April).

‘Hidden disabilities’

Anna says: “Ever since I started my own journey with my own boys Patrick and Angelo, and now as one of the UK’s leading autism ambassadors, I am wanting to help and support those who like my boys have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition.

“I would like to talk and share with the pupils and staff about the projects I am working on with children and adults on the spectrum. I love working and chatting to children – it’s the highlight of my day.”

Katie Pritchard, special educational needs co-ordinator at SMA, adds: “As a school, we strive to help our young people with ‘hidden’ disabilities such as autism by providing strategies with which they are able to function independently.

“We are determined that everyone who is on the autistic spectrum should get the best start possible, and should have the chance to enjoy their time at school as much as everyone else.”

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