This term at LVS Oxford, we have started a lunchtime Girls Club to explore what it means to be a young woman with autism. We started out by looking at adult women with autism, specifically what it feels like for them, how is effected their life and how it has affected their personal and working lives.
We then looked at ‘Can you see me?’ a novel co-written by an 11-year-old girl with ASD about her experiences starting mainstream school. In the novel, she uses a tiger mask to help her feel brave in stressful situations. We talked about this and what would make us feel brave. The girls then drafted and decorated masks to show what would make them feel brave.
Poppy designed a dog mask and chose a paper dog mask as well. Poppy said “I love dogs and this would make me feel safe.”
Esme designed two masks, one of the classic batman mask and one of the joker. “I made a classic Batman mask because it will make me feel brave, and I’m obsessed with Batman!”
Tabitha designed a task inspired by all her favourite things: elasta-girl, flowers and galaxy patterns. “My mask is all the things that I like, especially elasta-girl because she is stretchy.”
Lucy designed a mask to make her sister – who is also on the autistic spectrum – feel brave. Her sister loves letters and numbers, which inspired Lucy’s design.
Niamh designed a mask inspired by masquerade designs.
Lauren and Leila both designed masks inspired by superheroes, because who is braver than a superhero!
While making the masks, we were able to talk about the concept of masking and how common this is for girls with autism. We talked about how uncomfortable it felt wearing some of these masks and how it restricts you.
Our next project is to decorate a post box to be used for the LVS Oxford Christmas card delivery- where pupils can make a small donation to charity and have their Christmas cards delivered to the friends in school.