Chapel Highlights: Year 12 Students Neurodiversity Talk
Thursday 27 April 2023
April is Neurodiversity Awareness Month and on Monday in Chapel, Dr Aya Yuasa, Assistant Head - Personalised Learning and Wellbeing, along with two students Echo and Poppy (Year 12), came to talk to us about this. Here is what Echo and Poppy shared:
I view the autistic spectrum as more of a colour wheel rather than a linear scale of ‘less autistic’ to ‘more autistic’, and this is because it does not take into account our own unique individual strengths and struggles. And similarly, it’s important not to disregard our strengths even when we have struggles. For example, I enjoy talking to people and I would consider myself to be quite extroverted, however I do not make very good eye contact.
A lot of times, it is assumed that I am a shy and quiet person due to this, when it is not the case, as it is a stereotype about autism. Similarly, autistic people who do fulfill this stereotype are also just as autistic as I am, because we will all have different combinations of traits, hence why I make the comparison to a colour wheel.
You may assume that people with autism may like to avoid sensory experiences like being touched. But people with autism can have hypo-sensitivity as well as hyper-sensitivity or even both. Some people with autism may enjoy hugs while others may find this uncomfortable. Similarly, some people choose to use headphones to block out noise while others may enjoy going to concerts. So it is important we do not make assumptions but get to know autistic people as individuals.
Dr Yuasa encouraged the pupils to see her for a chat, if the talk raised any issues or concerns for them. We sang the hymn I Vow to Thee My Country and ended our service with a time of prayer for the people of the Sudan.
On Wednesday, we celebrated the winners of the Queenswood Musician of the Year competition and Mrs Elle Jackson, Director of Music, presented the trophies.
We enjoyed performances from:
- Nana W (Year 10) Overall Winner of the Q Musician of the Year, Instrumental Category (violin)
- Kalli Z (Year 9) Lower School Winner of the Q Musician of the Year, Instrumental Category, and Runner-Up prize for the Overall Q Musician of the Year, Instrumental Category (cello)
- Konyinsola S, (Year 13) Overall and Upper School Winner of the Q Musician of the Year, Singing Category.