Hundreds of Glenwood School students blow bubbles for autism awareness


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Hundreds of Glenwood School students gathered Thursday outside to blow bubbles as they participated in Bubbles for Autism Awareness month.

Educators April Workman and Teresa Dinger organized the event together in hopes of spreading awareness to the students. There were 650 students who participated in the event.

"April is designated to autism awareness and so here we have been doing activities all month to promote autism and today's event is a culminating activity for the month that we are doing," Workman said. "We hope that students will remember this event, what it stands for and keep that knowledge in their minds to help them remember it and be accepting of each other. We want to burst the bubble that surrounds autism. We want to make people more aware and allow them to accept individuals with autism."

The idea of blowing bubbles for Autism Awareness originally started at a preschool in New Jersey in 2004 and grew across the nation, according to Workman.

"The bubbles here are completely new to us and here for our Autism Awareness Month," Workman said. "Bubbles are used a lot for autistic children for speech and to teach them a lot of things."

According to Dinger, one out of 36 kids are diagnosed with autism each year, which is a significant difference from previous years.

"The diagnosis of autism is on the rise, and 18 years back it was one out of 110," Dinger said. "So there are a lot more kids and teens with autism in our population, so it's really important that these kids learn that that is a part of our community. Those are our friends too, and that we need to accept each other for who we are."

Over the course of the month, teachers have been teaching their students about autism through various activities in hopes of educating them, according Workman.

"We had been going into different classrooms and reading books about autism and teaching lessons on how to be a friend, how to communicate," Workman said. "We also have posters throughout the building with facts about autism and interactive true false activities for kids to stop and do as they walk down the halls just to teach them more about it. Our principal has been reading them facts about autism every morning on the announcements, too."

Workman and Dinger have been posting on the school's Facebook page with informational videos about autism and identifying it in children in hopes of spreading awareness.

"Our Facebook page is full of information as well," Workman said. "We have videos, how to identify it early in children, hopefully to help some parents and help them see if it's something they need to look into for their child."

— Contact Tara Wyatt at