Trumbull reps. Tony Hwang (R-134) and David Rutigliano (R-123) joined Trumbull Parents of Students with Learning Differences (TPSLD) and Jane Ryan Elementary School’s PTA for their Sensitivity Day on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Sensitivity Day is an opportunity for fourth grade students to be exposed to a variety of physical and learning disabilities with a hands-on sensitive program and helps increase awareness of those with disabilities.
This event happened to coincide with National Autism Awareness Month which begins on April 1. National Autism Awareness Month highlights the growing need for concern and awareness about autism and developmental disabilities.
“Today I saw students at Jane Ryan Elementary that are not just dedicated to being great students, they are joyous and caring,” said Hwang. “These children are devoted to becoming wonderful caring individuals that is becoming aware and sensitive to disabilities and handicap of their classmates. Their ability to recognize that we are all unique and should be sensitive to our differences is a great tool they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
The students then moved to hands-on learning stations in the gym. The program concluded with a classroom discussion and a worksheet on each student’s feelings about the program.
“I want to thank Yolanda Soto and all those involved in planning sensitivity day,” said Rutigliano. “It is a great resource and I really enjoyed spending time in the classroom.”
Reps. Hwang and Rutigliano each read a book that illustrated various differences in a positive way to classes K-5 throughout the day.
“It was great to not only witness the students learn about sensitivity, but discuss it with them as well,” said Hwang. “As we get ready to start National Autism Awareness Month, it is crucial that students and adults understand that each individual is special and that it is important to respect those differences.”
Sensitivity Day Chair Yolanda Soto is also a parent of a special needs child that attends Jane Ryan and believes this program makes a world of difference on how her son is perceived and accepted by his peers.
“I am especially thankful to the distinguished leaders in our community who always come out to lend their support to the Read Aloud portion of the program,” said Soto. “There is no greater way to learn than from a positive example.”
Reps. Hwang and Rutigliano ended the day by thanking the students for letting them join them for Sensitivity Day and by going around and expressing their gratitude to each teacher for the work that they have done.