Holmewood students encourage others to 'think differently' about autism
A group of autistic students from The Holmewood School delivered a presentation on neurodiversity to Senior Leaders of Highgate School in North London recently.
The six pupils, aged 14-16 years old, confidently spoke about their own autism, helped to dispel some of the myths surrounding autism, and discussed what they want people to know about the neurodiverse thinker.
The presentation came about after a classroom discussion where students agreed that their neurodiversity was a positive factor, but that the real problem they faced was society's misunderstanding of neurodiversity and some of the stereotypes often associated with autism.
With the help of Andy Lamb, Deputy Head, and Louise Wallis-Jones, Speech and Language Therapist, the students decided that to help tackle this issue they would put together a presentation to try to educate teachers in other settings on autism, explaining how to support any autistic students in their classes. The prestigious Highgate School, who recently won the Times Education Supplement’s ‘Independent School of The Year 2020’ award, have worked with Holmewood for many years and were delighted for their students to present to senior staff at their school.
Holmewood student Charles, aged 16, said “I used to feel quite uncomfortable talking about my autism but it's part of who I am and I wouldn't change that. Now I just want to help others to understand a little more about neurodiversity and teaching the staff at Highgate is a good start”.
Lisa Camilleri, Head Teacher of The Holmewood School, commented, “I was so very proud of the students. This is a huge achievement for them and was the students’ first ever external presentation.
"Understandably there were nerves, but they all rose above them knowing that by sharing their own experiences and opinions it would set a path for better communication and support for other autistic learners and young people who think differently”.