MIPA students are often ignored at Wakefield. Some will interact with our MIPA (Multi Intervention Program for Autism) students, but most students don’t. That is why I chose to work with MIPA students as my Senior Project. I want more students to understand and interact with our MIPA community.
It’s called inclusion, Warriors.
MIPA is a program that has teachers use different methods for different students to make learning comfortable and as easy as possible for students with autism. Students in the program work on social skills, communication skills, and on-task behavior. According to one of our MIPA teachers, Ms. Araujo, the program is designed to “keep the kids in a small classroom setting” so that they can have minimal distractions.
Ms. Araujo, Ms. Armstrong, and Mr. Nelson all agreed that the program is effective and the kids are living proof. Ms. Araujo told of one student who wouldn’t even go near the cafeteria or anywhere there is a large crowd. Now that he’s in the MIPA program, he plays on an organized sports team and often comes to the Basketball games. Ms. Araujo said she has to go out and “find opportunities for them to be included”. One big thing she has done is bring Special Olympics to Wakefield last year with Ms. Kigin. The Unified Sports team pairs general education students and students with intellectual disabilities, so everybody feels like they are part of a team.
Senior and Unified Basketball Assistant Coach, Jayde Spinner said, “Working with MIPA and Life Skills students has made me more aware of and a believer in inclusion. These kids are just like me. Just like Gen Ed students, they deserve the same opportunities in everything including sports. That is why I became a coach.” Give your best wishes to the Special Olympics team as they travel to States this weekend! They compete at Colonial Forge High School at 3pm on Friday.
The Wakefield community has come together in a beautiful way to welcome Special Olympics to Wakefield. Wakefield needs to come out and celebrate with the Special Olympic Basketball team at the big tailgate (4-6pm) and Senior Night (7pm) on Thursday, March 26th at Wakefield at 7pm.