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Different, Not Less

Two students pose with a poster:
Two students pose with an organizer board showing truths and myths about disabilities. thumbnail182996
Two students pose with a poster:
Two students make peace signs with their fingers in front of a Sibshops poster. thumbnail182998
A student holds up a worksheet about disability truths and myths. thumbnail182999
A student holds up a worksheet about disability truths and myths. thumbnail183000
A teacher watches students complete worksheets about disability myths and truths. thumbnail183001
A teacher works with students during the

Aquebogue Elementary School students participated in a hands-on workshop on April 28-30 about individual differences, spearheaded by resource teacher Marnie Busdeker and special education teacher Corinne Taibi.

During the sessions, students rotated through stations, where they learned about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and how they are used to communicate, watched a video featuring a firsthand account from a 9-year-old with autism, and participated in a discussion about truths and myths associated with disabilities. The participants also heard from students in the school’s new Sibshops peer group, led by school psychologist Jennifer Weintraub. Sibshops members answered questions about what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs.

“Mrs. Busdeker, Mrs. Taibi and Mrs. Weintraub were able to craft an experience that impacted participants in a meaningful way by giving each child an avenue and an opportunity to appreciate and understand one another,” said Assistant Principal Gary Karlson. “And just as importantly, the experience encouraged them to celebrate their own unique attributes, abilities and impact on our school.”