ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Kaitlyn Cline teaches students with autism at Camelot Elementary School in Orange County and though she’s the one leading the classroom, she said her students are actually teaching her something new every day.
“Their minds are just amazing, fast-paced, where they are just teaching me things from trains, NASA, things I never even heard of and it’s all in there and they are looking for ways to share it with me,” Cline said.
Cline has been working at the school for two years now and she decided to create “Talk About Autism Tuesdays” with the help of her Principal, Melissa Gordon.
Every Tuesday, students and staff members wear “Light Up Blue” shirts to spread awareness throughout the whole school year.
She said this is just a way for others to learn and connect with students who have the disorder.
“Every Tuesday I send out an email with a quote or a fun fact and I try to make it so not only the staff members are understanding it, but they can also share it with their students, it’s child friendly, so they get a better understanding,” she said.
Cline explained it’s important to include students with autism in all sorts of activities, which is why she motivated one of her 4th graders to do the morning announcement earlier this month. He was able to share facts about autism and how to become friends with someone who has it.
“My biggest thing is teaching the staff and the students how important it is to let these students just come in and have an open mind and you will be so amazed and surprised of what these students are capable of,” she said.
Gordon said they are working on creating a Special Olympics Team for next school year so that students with autism spectrum disorder can enjoy more activities.
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