April is Autism Awareness Month, and Rainbow Rabbit’s impact on children has never been as important as it was last week, when he stopped by to say hello to some very special friends.
Last Thursday, our furry friend visited children spending time at In-Sync and Social in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. In-Sync and Social offers Occupational Therapy-based social skills groups, as well as individual OT for sensory processing and motor development.
The company, which was the recipient of the Main Line Parent Best for Families Award in 2015, participated in reading Rainbow Rabbit’s story to the kids.
What followed was pure magic.
As the reading began, kids passed Rainbow Rabbit around the room, with none of them wanting to relinquish him to the other. Throughout the story, they reacted emotionally to Rainbow Rabbit during his struggles, and cheered him on when he finally found a group of friends that had long eluded him.
During the post-reading Q&A discussion, every child said they emphasized with Rainbow Rabbit, because like him, they have also felt isolated at times and have been bullied as well.
“It was emotional and inspiring to see how well the kids at In-Sync and Social responded to Rainbow Rabbit,” said In-Sync Founder and President Maria Slavin. “This curriculum is excellent for teaching children empathy and acceptance, as well as teaching children who are at risk for being socially isolated, that they are not alone and that they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.”
One particular child who really took to Rainbow Rabbit was Addy, a nine-year old, highly functioning child on the autism spectrum who attends school in a regular education setting with support. Since April is autism awareness month, Addy’s school decided to have an Autism Awareness Day, and Addy’s mother approached them about having Addy speak to her class. While she was initially hesitant, Addy, with Rainbow Rabbit by her side, read his story to her class the next day, and he was an absolute hit with her classmates, as was Addy.
“The special ed teacher explained autism as something that allows Addy to memorize every song on the radio, as well as who sings it, and how she can hear the ice cream truck when it’s 10 minutes away,” mentioned Slavin. “A friend of mine whose daughter is in Addy’s class, came home and told her mom that Addy is like a superhero with special powers. How amazing is that?! If all families and schools could be as open and supportive as Addy’s have been, so many kids could speak to their class and present their autism in this manner at an early age, and it would make such a difference.”
Way to go Addy! We’re so proud and you and are honored to help make this year’s Autism Awareness Month extra special!
For more info on In-Sync and Social, click here.