BY Daniel Harkins | April 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

7-amy_aleksandra

Young artists in Motherwell get unique insight into the lives of the autistic

Young artists from Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell were given an insight into the lives of people with autism as they took part in an innovative project.

As part of Schools Autism Awareness Week, the school organised an Arts for Autism event. Pupils were asked to complete works of art while working under unusual conditions designed to give them an understanding of how difficult environmental factors can be for some people with autism.

Loud music was played as the young artists began to sketch, distracting some pupils and making it harder to work. After a while, staff removed the pencils being used by the participants and made them continue with another material.

Lights were flicked on and off and the volume of music altered from extremely loud to barely audible. As the project drew to a close, pupils were told to leave behind the artwork they spent so much time on and choose another pupil’s piece to continue working with.

“This second piece was submitted as their competition entry, causing howls of outrage and more than one petted lip,” Jennifer Macfadyen from the school said. “However, staff explained how difficult change can be for those on the autistic spectrum and that their sense of upset was a smaller version of the difficulties faced by some people every day.”

“A big thank you to [S5] pupil Shane for being DJ and creating the playlist, to the photography club for documenting the event, and to the pupils of Bothwellpark High School for judging the best artwork,” she added.

S2 pupil Amy won the competition and collected a giant Easter egg courtesy of Support for Learning, with fellow S2 pupil Aleksandra also picking up a prize. Autism Awareness Week took place from April 2-8, with a school awareness focus taking place in March.

 

—daniel@sconews.co.uk

 

—This story ran in full in the April 15 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

 

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