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Aspie Bear

Meet AspieBear
Our AsperBears would like to introduce to you a new friend…

Meet AspieBear!

AspieBear

This cute, printable and personalizable bear was created by a student with Asperger Syndrome in an effort to help the ASO heighten awareness and foster acceptance of Asperger Syndrome.

It is AspieBear’s mission to visit homes, schools, workplaces and communities to learn what people across Ontario are doing to build environments of tolerance, acceptance and support for individuals with Asperger Syndrome!

You’ve probably heard about Flat Stanley who has been connecting students across the world for many years, helping them to get excited about literacy and geography. Well, AspieBear also wants to travel across Ontario (and Canada, and the world) to spread his message about acceptance. Will you help him?

What to do with AspieBear?

We encourage you to download (here) print, cut out and personalize AspieBear. You can use school colours, office logos, or use a design that represents what Asperger Syndrome or acceptance means to you (your family, class, school or workplace).

Show us how you and AspieBear are helping to foster acceptance in your home, school, workplace or community. Take pictures, write stories, make videos… get creative! Share your AspieBear adventures with us:

Email: info@aspergers.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AspergerOntario

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aspergerontario

Send us your #AspieBear stories and we will share them with our community on our website and social media sites!

Need some ideas? How about:

Write a story about your personal experiences with Asperger Syndrome. Consider sharing it with friends, family and the ASO.
Help AspieBear organize and host an Aspie-friendly event at school or work
Help AspieBear plant an acceptance garden where love, kindness, and appreciation grow!
Read a book about autism (or by an author with autism) to AspieBear at the local library
Help AspieBear organize a school/work Asperger Acceptance BBQ
Share AspieBear with neighbouring schools, offices,
Take AspieBear to meet with your local politicians. Ask them to explain to AspieBear what they are doing to support Asperger acceptance
Talk with your employer about Asperger Syndrome. Engage in conversation about how to make your workplace more inclusive and accommodating to you and others with AS.
Share your AspieBear activities with us, and on social media. Use the hashtag #AspieBear
Here are the AsperBears reading an Asperger Awareness story with their new friend, AspieBear!

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Here are some additional resources to help you plan AspieBear activities in your home, classroom or workplace:

Elementary School

Print out AspieBears for each student in the class. Have them personalize the bear to represent themselves. Encourage students to include on their bear features that make them unique!
Write a story about AspieBear. Topics might include:
AspieBear’s unique strengths and how they help him/her save the day (super hearing? Amazing math skills? Special interest expert?)
How AspieBear made someone feel accepted
How AspieBear made a special new friend.
We’re all different, and that’s okay!
How AspieBear makes school more inclusive
How is AspieBear different from other bears? How does he/she feel when left out at recess?
Ask students to consider the following questions, and then talk or write about them (consider poetry, short stories, or “Getting To Know Me” presentations to class):
What makes you different or unique?
What are 3 things you like about yourself?
What are 3 things you like about a friend?
What are 3 things you are really good at?
What are 3 things that you find challenging?
How can you be a better friend to someone in your class/school/neighbourhood?
Ask students to think, talk, or write about times when they felt different or excluded or ignored. What did they do? Have they ever excluded or ignored someone? How did that make them feel? Are we all the same in every way? Is it okay to be different?
Ask students to think about things that are hard for one person, but easy for another. Someone might be good at naming all of the dinosaurs, or at solving hard math problems, but might not know how to play soccer.
Gather a group of students at recess to explore ways to make recess games more inclusive.
Ask students what they can do to stop social media bullying of people who are different. How social media encourages bad stuff and what we can do to get it off social media. Oral discussions.

High School

Ask students to choose something unique about themselves. Have them write a short paragraph or essay about how this trait affects their daily life, academics, social skills, etc.
Have students design an AspieBear comic strip, illustration, poster or media creation that promotes inclusion.
Have students experience the challenges of someone with sensory processing sensitivities. Have them answer trivia questions while experiencing different sensory inputs (turn the classroom lights on and off, play loud music, have them hold an ice cube in one hand)
Have students plan an inclusive activity (a school dance with low lighting and soft music, a sensory day with rooms dedicated to different sensory categories – touch, smell, sound, taste etc.,)
Have students research Asperger Syndrome (or Asperger Syndrome services) and present to the class
Ask students to work together to “build” an Asperger Syndrome friendly classroom, school, mall, playground etc., What special accommodations or adaptations would they include?
Ask students to come up with ways they can be more supportive to classmates with Asperger Syndrome.
Ask students what they can do to stop social media bullying of people who are different. How social media encourages bad stuff and what “we as teens” can do to get it off social media. Oral discussions.

Workplace

Share the “Employers Guide to Asperger Syndrome” with employers or staff.
Organize a “wear purple” day at the office.
Begin a “no scents makes good sense” campaign to eliminate scents from the workplace.
Talk to your employer about inclusive hiring practices and the benefits of employing individuals with Asperger Syndrome.
Contact the ASO to find out about corporate volunteering activities.
Lace up AspieBear’s running shoes and take him running! Join the ASO and AspieBear in the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend or Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon runs!

AspieBear ideas for everyone!

Organize a fundraising event for your favourite Asperger Syndrome charity.
Host an #EmbraceDifference event in your school or community and celebrate inclusion and acceptance!
Volunteer with a local autism organization
Host an autism film festival – here’s a great list of films to screen
Read a new book by someone with autism, or about autism.
Create an autism/Asperger ambassador club at school or in your community! Promote autism/Asperger awareness and acceptance!
Organize a “wear purple” event at work or school with proceeds going to your favourite Asperger charity!
Have your school read an Asperger “fact a day” over the announcements in the morning
Dedicate a bulletin board at school or in the office to information about Asperger Syndrome and helpful community services. Don’t forget to include the Aspergers’s Society of Ontario!
Organize a garage sale, car wash, or bottle drive with proceeds going to ASO
Apportion a percentage of sales from artwork, homemade jewelry or other small business items to ASO
Contact ASO about Corporate Volunteering opportunities
Lace up AspieBear’s running shoes and take him running! Join the ASO and AspieBear in the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend or Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon runs!
Make a “no scents makes good sense” campaign at your school or in your workplace!

Here are some additional resources to explore for inclusion activities in the classroom for grades K-12:

This website provides some classroom lessons for grades K-12: http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/ed_autisminc.pdf
Coulter Video offers 2 videos that explain what Asperger Syndrome is at both an elementary and secondary level:
Intricate Minds Secondary Level: http://www.coultervideo.com/#!intricate-minds-asperger-classmates/c1ook
Intricate Minds II” Elementary Level: level: http://www.coultervideo.com/video/117/intricate-minds-ii-understanding-elementary-school-classmates-asperger-syndrome-dvd
The television show “Arthur” helps children understand what Asperger Syndrome is. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsmjwHW40ps
Understanding Asperger Syndrome – for Professors: http://www.researchautism.org/resources/aspergerdvdseries.asp
An Educator’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome: http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/educatorsasperger.pdf
Asperger Toolkit for School Community: https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/school_community_tool_kit.pdf
Employer’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome: http://www.autismontario.com/client/aso/ao.nsf/0/2CDA747C0E9D4C768525770D004B1B1A/$FILE/Employer’s%20Guide%20to%20Asperger’s%20Syndrome,%20second%20edition.pdf?openelement
Supporting Employees with Asperger Syndrome: http://www.autismberkshire.org.uk/Files/Documents/employrepemployer.pdf
There are several books about Asperger Syndrome written for elementary students such as, “All Cats Have Asperger’s”, “Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome”, and, “Asperger’s Huh?” that might be helpful.
At a teen level, the book “Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A Guide to Adolescence” is a popular one that was written by a 13 year old boy who has Asperger Syndrome.
Classroom Discussion points:Asperger Syndrome gives people a very unique perspective on many different things; this different perspective makes them valuable members of our community and to society at large.
Many people on the autism spectrum participate in artistic ventures such as film, television, music, and writing.
Individuals on the Autism SpectrumAsperger’s Syndrome
* Craig Nicholls, front man of the band The Vines
* Phillipa “Pip” Brown (aka Ladyhawke), indie rock musician
* Clay Marzo, accomplished professional surfer and aquatic athlete
* Julian Assange, computer hacker and founder of WIkiLeaks
* Satoshi Tajiri, creator and designer of Pokemon
* Stephen Wiltshire, British architectural artist
* Temple Grandin, a designer of humane food animal handling systems
* Albert Einstein (1879–1955), Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) and Isaac Newton (1643–1727) all died before Asperger Syndrome was known and professionals in the field believe their personalities are consistent with those of people with Asperger Syndrome.

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