Onesie way to cover autism message

Witney Gazette: Pictured with some of the children are teaching assistant Sara Smith, left, and head teacher Breda Bowles Buy this photo Pictured with some of the children are teaching assistant Sara Smith, left, and head teacher Breda Bowles

CHILDREN, staff and even the principal wore onesies at a Carterton primary school to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

Staff and pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Lawton Avenue took part in The National Autistic Society (NAS) event Onesie Wednesday.

They also walked around Carterton in their outfits, ranging from superhero costumes to Christmas-themed creations.

More than one in 100 people in the UK have autism, a lifelong disability which affects how a person interacts with others and makes sense of the world.

Onesie Wednesday first took place in 2013 as an internal National Autistic Society fundraiser but proved so popular that it has been relaunched as a national campaign. People are encouraged to wear onesies instead of their normal work or school clothes, to spread the message that it is OK to be different.

St Joseph’s Onesie Wednesday was organised by teaching assistant Sara Smith. She said: “I have a close relative who has autism, and here in school there are a number of children with autism, so Onesie Wednesday has been an excellent way for everyone to learn more about autism, and raise money for the work of the NAS.

“The children were thrilled at the prospect of wearing a onesie to school, paying £1 for the privilege, and there was a great deal of pressure upon staff and even our principal to get involved — they have certainly risen to the occasion.”

Headteacher Breda Bowles went into the school wearing a camouflage-style onesie while deputy headteacher Lisa Smith was sporting a pink onesie with snowflakes.

Mrs Bowles said: “I borrowed my son’s onesie and while it’s very long, it’s surprisingly comfortable and flattering.”

“It has been great to see so many children and staff getting involved and raise awareness.

“Sometimes, children with autism can be seen as being badly behaved, but events like this increase understanding.”

Visit autism.org.uk

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