I'm excited to share that SBKM is financially supporting Community Living Hamilton! This is part of my commitment to inclusion in education, work and community, for all folks with a developmental disability. A portion of my year-to-date play set sales will be donated to CLH in December 2019 as they have requested the donation be in one annual lump sum. You can read more about the organization here and donate directly to them here.
Why Community Living Hamilton?
I'm choosing to support Community Living Hamilton because they:
- are local to us
- provide a funded day of respite once a month which the boys attend and enjoy
- support all people with developmental disabilities and their families, not just autistic children
- aim to support disabled people throughout their lifetime in living the full life they choose for themselves
- are a registered charity
If you choose to donate to them directly, thank you. And if you decide to purchase a play set from my small business then thank you too, and please be assured that a portion of the sales will be donated to support this terrific local charity. Unlike most autism-branded charities, Community Living Hamilton makes a tangible difference in the lives of disabled kids and adults, as well as their families.
Why tell us now?
April is around the corner. If you don't know a lot of autistic people, you may not be aware that April fills many of them with a deep sense of dread. This is because a charity called Autism Speaks has done an incredible marketing job in a relatively short period of time and "blue-washed" April into "Autism Awareness Month". Six years ago I wrote about why I don't "Light It Up Blue" or support Autism Speaks and sadly, not much has changed since then. If you're interested in reading more about why most autistic folk view Autism Speaks as a toxic organization, this is a great master blog post (updated in 2017).
Autism Acceptance Month
So, in our home we don't do "Light It Up Blue" or puzzle pieces or light bulbs or other things that undermine support for neurodiversity. What non-financial things can we do instead? Well, via a friend, I recently saw a post by The Neurodivergent Teacher that had some fantastic ideas for demonstrating support for autistic folks in April:
Autism Acceptance Spirit Week
Celebrate Autism Acceptance April 1st - 5th!
Pokemon Monday - Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokemon, is autistic. He used his unique perspective to create the world of Pokemon. To celebrate his work, dress up as your favourite Pokemon character - or create your own!
Tuesday - World Autism Acceptance Day - Love and acceptance go a long way. Wear red to show your support and acceptance of autistic individuals!
What's Your Passion Wednesday - One characteristic of autism is to show incredibly focused passion for topics of interest. What are you passionate about? Dress up to show something you love!
Neurodiversity Thursday - To celebrate the beauty in the diverse spectrum of the human mind, wear rainbow and/or tie dyed clothes to school!
Sensory Friendly Friday - Autistic people often have a variety of sensory sensitivities. Dress up today in your most comfy clothes (including school appropriate pjs), use as much natural light in your classroom instead of fluorescents as possible and/or wear sunglasses.via The Neurodivergent Teacher
SBKM play sets?
P.S. If you're wondering what these "SBKM play sets" that I refer to are, watch this space! I have a product line in development that's designed to help inclusive educators, homeschoolers and involved parents encourage play based learning for kids of all abilities.