Weekly Feature

2017-09-14 / Education

Cleveland Hill FRC hosting game night for children with autism


Beginning this week, Cleveland Hill’s Family Resource Center became home to a monthly game night geared toward helping students on the autism spectrum to build social and academic skills.

During a Board of Education meeting last week, David Evans, the district’s assistant superintendent of pupil personnel, said the game night will be held from 6 to 8 on one evening each month in 2017-18, in the center at 3660 Harlem Road.

It will be led by parents and facilitated by Barbara Armon, Cleveland Hill High School’s psychologist.

According to district documents, the game night will feature an assortment of games including scavenger hunts, board games and interactive video games, which students on the autism spectrum can play along with their siblings and a variety of volunteers, including students from Cleveland Hill High School.

The goal of the game night is to create a safe and accepting environment where autistic students can have fun while improving math, reading, fine motor and other skills through game play and also learn about social skills, including taking turns, dealing with winning and losing, and playing fair.

For children of all ages, Evans said the game night is the brainchild of a parent in the district who expressed an interest last year in giving students with disabilities a social outlet.

“Her child has autism, and so he’s not going to participate in a lot of the sports or things like that, and so she wanted a way to connect students,” he said. “So did our high school psychologist, and so they got together and came up with this plan. It’s not just students from Cleveland Hill. That parent through [The Summit Center] has a network of parents she communicates with.”

Evans said the game night is also an important event for parents, who will be able to get training from Armon on selected topics and also share resources, common interests and concerns with each other.

He said about 13 to 20 parents and their children were expected to attend the first game night on Sept. 13, which was to feature a presentation from behavior specialist David Meichenbaum titled “Social Developing and Building Social Skills for Students with Autism and Spectrum Disorders.”

To learn more about the game night, contact Armon at 209-769-0406 or barmon@clevehill.org, or Janelle Santiago at 725-5812 or jmsanti74@gmail.com.

email: arizzo@beenews.com

Game Night Dates:

October 16
November 13
December 11
January 8
February 12
March 12
April 9
May 14
June 4
Event runs 6-8 p.m.

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