Thursday, January 29, 2009

Children with autism paired with buddies to create art

COURTESY PHOTO Sarasota Mayor Lou Ann Palmer reads to the children of the Pines of Sarasota Child Care Center this month as part of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida. Pictured front row from left, are Palmer, Pines staff member Karen Hudak, Alex Pearson, Sabrina Fenolio, Alexis Perry, Aries Jones. Back row, Carson Reed. Palmer teamed up with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County to participate in this statewide campaign designed to promote early childhood literacy.

Small groups of children with autism, children with academic gifts and their mainstream classmates worked together as part of a nine-week art project. "The project was more successful than we ever imagined," said autism teacher Marjorie Williams. "The post-test demonstrated a dramatic change in acceptance after the project ... [and] the children did not want to stop working with their new friends." Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Fla.)

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