Over one percent of Dutch citizens has autism in some form. That’s 190,000 people, including a fair number of children, for autism is something you live with your entire life. That’s why education on autism starts in primary school. The subject however has a very low priority in primary education and there is little educational material available. To help primary schools give autism the attention it deserves, the Dutch Foundation for Autism (NVA) asked DST to develop and produce lecture material on autism for primary school pupils.
The NVA defends the interests of children with autism and their parents, as well as people with autism in general, their partners and their family members. The NVA has a wide range of (educational) materials on autism at its disposal. Yet it sensed a need for lecture material for primary school students aged 10 to 12 years old to spread knowledge and understanding on autism among their classmates.
An interactive and fun booklet
DST developed and produced this material, in close cooperation with teachers, pupils, children with autism and the NVA. At its core are the stories and photos of six children – both with and without autism. They tell about their own autism, or that of a sibling. In an easy and relatable fashion that connects with the daily lives of primary school pupils. An interactive and fun booklet pupils can hand out to classmates after their lecture ensures that the subject is brought to the attention of their families at home too.
In this way DST reached for maximum exposure for each lecture, giving education on autism a new incentive despite its low priority in day-to-day primary school education. An added bonus was the large amount of free publicity generated for the NVA and autism by timing the launch of the material on World Autism Day.