Take Action Around 'Best Kept Secret'
- Find out how your school district defines "special needs," who qualifies for services under that definition and what services are provided. Talk with families of students who qualify to determine which current services are working well and where there is room for improvement. Begin a dialogue with all the stakeholders to establish an action plan for how to make needed improvements.
- Join with a local or national autism advocacy group to support families of children with autism so they can get the services they need. Also consider brainstorming with stakeholders in various ways (e.g., providing transportation to and from places like the Wae Center) to provide support.
- As part of anti-bullying efforts in your school, arrange for a "teach-in" about autism. Help students and faculty understand variations along the spectrum and provide all children with opportunities to "hang out" with kids who have autism. Invite special education teachers and/or siblings of kids with autism to model how to be friends with a child who has autism.
- Participate in or help organize observances of World Autism Awareness Day (April 2), National Autism Awareness Month (April) or Autism Pride Week (June 16-22).
Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.
This guide is an invitation to dialogue. it is based on a belief in the power of human connection, designed for people who want to use Best Kept Secret to engage family, friends, classmates, colleagues and communities. in contrast to initiatives that foster debates in which participants try to convince others that they are right, this document envisions conversations undertaken in a spirit of openness in which people try to understand one another and expand their thinking by sharing viewpoints and listening actively.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 50 U.S. children is autistic. That means there are likely to be several children with autism in every school in the country. To address the integration of those children, this lesson involves older students in a service learning project to create an activity or piece of media that helps younger students learn about autism and, where relevant, their classmates. In addition to teaching about autism, the project offers students opportunities to practice research, writing, speaking, multimedia, organizational and time management skills.
This list of fiction and nonfiction books, compiled by Brandy Sanchez of the Daniel Boone Regional Library, provides a range of perspectives on the issues raised by the POV documentary Best Kept Secret.