In light of April being Autism Awareness Month, the Champion Autism Network (CAN) is holding the #YesYouCAN, a sensory friendly film festival.
Following last year’s goal of raising awareness to the general public, this year, the goal of the film festival is to educate teachers and students on how they can help autistic children in their classrooms. Through speakers, film creators and actors, CAN wants teachers to feel confident that they have the skills and tools needed to best take care of these children as well as the confidence to educate others who have never experienced someone with autism.
Jason Toy, director of programs at CAN, says their overall mission is to raise awareness to the public and remind people to lend a hand if needed but, most importantly, to reserve judgement.
“It’s all about acceptance – it's sort of like the golden rule of be nice to other people and don’t judge other people,” says Toy.
Throughout the year, CAN provides sensory friendly activities throughout the area for children and families living with autism. They also provide lists of sensory-friendly businesses and establishments for families living in or visiting the area.
These include places where smells, loud sounds and other sensations that could be hard to tolerate are taken into consideration to best welcome children and families with autism.
The film festival will take place Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at the Conway campus of Horry Georgetown Technical College. The event is free and all, even those who don’t know much about autism, are welcome to attend.
“This can effect anybody; there is no specific type of people. It can effect anyone,” says Toy.
For more information on the film festival, to make a donation or view more advocacy by CAN, please visit championautismnetwork.com