BENEFITING: Autism Life Support Inc
Fire drills are probably one of the most basic of safety preparation procedures utilized by schools. With mandates to perform them once per month in many districts, they have become so routine, we often do not think much about them. Unless, of course, you are in a special education classroom.
Fire drill day is a stressful day in the special education classroom. Much of the day is spent planning for and preparing the kids for the loud noises, large crowds, the break in routine, and the anxiety of trying to explain it is only practice, not real.
My experience has been we often spend 1/2 of the day preparing the kids and the rest of the day helping them recover from the incident. there are very few ways we can prepare the kids for the evnet, other than constant reassurance and reaction management.
Social story are a series of pictures that professionals often use to help explain important procedural information to kids with special needs. Most of the time, they are a really bad collection of clip art presented in flip chart form with the narative provided by the teacher or parent.
Though somewhat effective, they are not interesting, they don't provide a standard narrative that is universal in scope, and they are often underutilized even when available.
Furthermore, they only provide visual cues, not sound. How do you "show" a student what a fire alarm is going to sound like so they know what to expect?
We've teamed up with the team at Your Comic Story to devlop a multi-media, comic book style, social story that will walk kids through a fire drill with sights and sounds to help them better understand how to handle a fire drill. It will have pictures, a standardized narrative, and an embedded sound file of fire alarms to help students process the information and reduce anxiety during actual events.
It will also help teachers and parents prepare their students for emergency situations by reinforcing evacuation protocols, which, in and of itself, could be crucial in safety planning for schools. We often forget that we need to cutomize learning for students in ways they can process the best.
What the Money is For
A $500 depoosit has already been made to secure the development of the artwork.additional funds break down as follows:
- $500 for balance of artwork fee
- $1200 is for the platform we will be using to format and distribute the publication