As part of World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day, Autism Ontario York Region is adding to the conversation around Inclusion.  Here are three viewpoints:  the parent of a child with autism, a teacher with many years’ experience teaching students with autism, and a young woman with autism.  


Marianna’s son Peter Anthony

From Awareness Comes Inclusion

By Marianna Colalillo


Inclusion can only be successful through awareness.

My son Peter Anthony is now 8 years old. He received his ASD diagnosis when he was 3 years old.

Peter Anthony is very fortunate to have a community (school — preschool, principal, teachers, core resource, ASD Team, The Crystal Ladder Learning Center, Autism Ontario and Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua) that not only supports him academically but also embraces his individuality. We are all learning the many layers of the autism spectrum together through awareness.

Only through awareness and research will we be able to allow these childrens’ unique and individual qualities to shine through, and help them become their best possible self. Only through awareness will these children be welcomed and accepted into their communities with an understanding and a feeling of belonging. Once they feel included and supported the sky is the limit.

Author Marianna and her son Peter Anthony

Together, let’s raise awareness for these children not only today on World Autism Awareness Day, but every day. Let’s raise awareness as a community for these children and give them the opportunity to showcase how truly amazing they really are.