School kids in Kerala come together to push for greater awareness about autism

A group of children at the Learning Alternatives Centre for Beyond School Experiences in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala are working on a project to create greater awareness on autism.

They are on a month-long activity to create awareness on autism during their summer vacation.

The founder of the centre says that this is the first time they started a summer programme with a social commitment. The programme is for children between the ages of 11 and 14 years.

The group of six children have been working on activities like poster designing, script writing for a street play and making a short film, all looking at autism awareness.

As part of the campaign, the children are also speaking to parents of children with special needs to understand the challenges they face. This is giving them an idea of the discrimination and alienation that parents of special needs kids face in India.

The children also visited the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) as part of the programme. Here they met with students and therapists. They got to learn the basics of sign language as well.

The toughest aspect of the project was making posters as the children had to first understand what autism is and how it affects people. The posters have been displayed at different parts of Thiruvananthapuram.

The project will come to an end this week with a street play on autism, written and performed by these six children. The street play will be staged at 5.30 pm on Sunday.

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