Project marked Autism Awareness month
Roscommon CBS marked this year’s Autism Awareness Month by breaking a Guinness World Record last Friday (5th). The CBS, which also incorporates the Edmund Rice Autism Centre, displayed the world’s largest blue ribbon on their football pitch.
The ribbon measured 1,555 square metres and smashed the previous record which had been set in Dubai. The process was monitored and recorded by Guinness World Record officials as well as independent adjudicators and engineers and local Gardaí.
The school’s world record attempt was designed to raise awareness about the specific needs of those with ASD and to encourage organisations everywhere to provide autism-friendly facilities and experiences.
The Edmund Rice Centre at the CBS Roscommon was shortlisted earlier this year for a CARA (National Inclusion Award) for enhancing participation in sport and physical activity amongst those with special needs. The centre has been working with local sports facilities and gyms in providing ASD-friendly experiences.
Students have worked with trainers and mentors in helping them build exercise into their everyday lives.
The school is also unique in that it provides students with opportunities to access mainstream education in their chosen subjects, as well as availing of the resources available in the new, purpose-built facility. It places ASD at the heart of the school and has ensured that the entire school community is educated on autism and the particular challenges it can present.
Transition Year student Jamie Finnegan also won a BT Young Scientist Award this year with his project ‘Are students from national schools with autism centres more empathetic to students with ASD units’. He found that having an ASD unit creates an inclusive atmosphere within a school, but also that students attending schools with ASD units are less likely to define their classmates by ASD, seeing them instead as individuals and friends with a wide variety of qualities and characteristics.