Upstate News

November 18, 2008
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Puppet workshop promotes acceptance of kids with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An interactive puppet workshop called “Kidspeak” created by SUNY Upstate Medical University to foster understanding and acceptance of children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome will be available for use in classrooms throughout the county in the coming year.

The workshop, which made its debut Nov. 13 in Syracuse, is supported by the Kohl’s Foundation “Kohl’s Cares for Kids Program.” SUNY Upstate’s Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center created the Kidspeak puppet show.

Since 2005, the Kohl’s Cares for Kids Program has donated more than $400,000 to SUNY Upstate Medical University, with more than $325,000 in support of autism. Included in this amount is a recent donation of $141,741 that was raised through the 2007 Kohl’s Cares for Kids campaign.

Kidspeak will be primarily available to teachers and students in grades one through three. The workshop includes a puppet show to help students understand the unique learning styles of children with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, a companion worksheet will offer teachers suggestions on ways that they can promote a successful academic experience for children with ASD.

Kohl’s Cares for Kids program raises funds for children’s health and educational opportunities across the country through the sale of special gift items. All net profits from the sale of these items supports children’s health and educational opportunities in the market areas served by Kohl’s.

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