Grant County Special Education Co-operative teams up with the education department
By Anna Oelerich | Contributor
On Tuesday, Taylor’s education department will host its second annual Family Fun Fair for children with autism spectrum disorder as well as their families.
The event is the result of an ongoing partnership with the Grant County Special Education Co-operative and intends to give families with children who have autism a safe space to relax, learn and have fun. Associate professor of education Tammy Mahon helped to lead the event nine years ago at Indiana Wesleyan and says that the fair has continued to grow since then.
This year, Euler will be filled with carnival games for children, as well as science projects led by Pamela Medows’ science education students. These activities are not only entertaining, but are also designed to build crucial problem-solving and social interaction skills.
Parents and families will get the chance to meet service providers, visit vendor booths and participate in group activities that allow them to encourage others with their stories. In past years, parents have written letters to other families and read them aloud as an exercise.
The fair even offers helpful resources for current and future teachers, from training sessions to visual supports for classroom use to first responder training to equip them for emergencies. Honorary awards will be given to teachers from the community who help children with disabilities to be successful students.
Although the Family Fun Fair is hosted by education majors, all students are welcome to attend, whether to play games with guests, provide another set of helping hands or see a performance by comedian and motivational speaker Brett Eastburn. Eastburn, who was born without arms or legs, has used his disability to show others that everyone is unique—a theme perfectly suited to the evening.
Mahon, whose passion is special education, hopes that this year’s Fun Fair will help Grant County families feel connected to the Taylor community.
“I think this event helps families with disabilities feel loved on,” Mahon said. “They’re just as much a part of the community as everyone else.”