Monday, April 14, 2008

Kindergarten class wins prize for book on autism

Kindergarten children at H.B. Patch School in Omro, Wisc., are being honored for their work on a book about a classmate who has autism, according to The Oshkosh Northwestern.

Out of a field of 1,000 submissions statewide, the Autism Society of Wisconsin gave first place to the kindergarten class of Abby Cravillion for its book on their classmate, Camden Retzlaff, who has autism. The contest requested that a child or children in the class write an essay or a book to talk about the experience of having a friend or acquaintance with autism.

The book contains comments and illustrations about Retzlaff from his fellow kindergarten students. Their teacher, Abby Cravillion, said the kids only said good things about Retzlaff.

“They said he (Retzlaff) is nice and that he’s a good reader, good at math and a good bus buddy,” she said. “The kids wrote a sentence about Camden and also illustrated it.”

Retzlaff also drew a picture in the book, illustrating something he enjoys -- racing toy cars with his friends.

“The kids pretty much came up with the idea themselves and to see it through all the way is amazing. It shows how much they care for Camden,” Principal Dave Wellhoefer said. “The younger the kids are, the more likely they are to see past disabilities and see a friend.”