15 Mar Neurodiversity Celebration Week
21 – 27th March 2022
Dear pupils, parents and carers of Holmleigh,
This year, we will be taking part in the Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Until last year, annual autism awareness week was an opportunity to raise awareness both here in the UK and internationally. However, the autistic community wants to move away from a society where there is only awareness of their differences to one where they are celebrated and accepted in schools, workplaces and other settings.
Siena Castellon, a forward-thinking neurodiversity advocate, launched Neurodiversity Celebration Week two years ago to change the narrative about autism and learning differences.
She describes the Neurodiversity Celebration Week as “a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing schools, universities, and organisations with the opportunity to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual.”
Therefore, we will be holding a series of activities at Holmleigh to celebrate the contributions of our neurodivergent pupils. Look out for a tweet from Siena in recognition of Holmleigh Primary School’s participation in this event.
On 21st March 2022, we will start with a whole school assembly. Throughout the week, pupils and staff will be talking about Neurodiversity in their lessons and taking part in activities to raise empathy and awareness. Children will learn how every brain is wired-differently and their own unique way of thinking and experiencing the world. In line with our Holmleigh motto, Neurodiversity Celebration Week will give us the opportunity to remind children that no matter what our differences and challenges, everyone also has their
own strengths and talents. We will ask children to make/design a poster showcasing their ‘superpower’ and completing homework researching the accomplishment of a neurodivergent individual. I hope you can join us in celebrating the uniqueness of our neurodivergent community and bring their positive contributions to light by finding out about your child’s participation in the above activities and joining Ms Aydemir at the parent/carer coffee morning on Monday, 21st March 2022, at the Garden House.
Also, look out in and around the school for displays of many neurodivergent celebrities.
I encourage you all to visit the brilliant Neurodiversity Celebration Week website at https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/parent-resources for more resources and information. If you have any suggestions or would like to get involved in any way to raise the profile of neurodivergent children at Holmleigh, please get in touch with Ms Aydemir.
Here in the UK, it is the National Autistic Society’s 60th anniversary. This year they are asking anyone interested to take on a 60-themed challenge to support and raise awareness of the 700,000 autistic people in the UK. You can do this by running, walking or cycling, creating art, music or food – choose anything to the theme of 60 and help raise funds 28 March – 3 April 2022.
More information on this and other events such as Spectrum Night Walks organised by the National Autistic Society please visit their website: https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/raise-money/world-autism-acceptance-week-2022
Who is Siena Castellon?
Siena launched Neurodiversity Celebration Week two years ago to change the narrative about autism and learning differences.
She describes herself as a multi-award-winning neurodiversity advocate, author, Young Leader for the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and the founder of Neurodiversity Celebration Week. She is a teenager who is autistic and has ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. You can read more about her here: https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/sienacastellon
Ms Aydemir – Special Educational Needs Coordinator