TASIS Middle School art teacher Simona Bellini currently works with Autism of Southern Switzerland (ASI) on projects and organizes summer camps in Valle di Muggio. Before arriving at TASIS, Ms. Bellini worked for several years as an art therapist at ASI, was active with several children and young adults afflicted with autism, and was a foster parent for an 8-year-old autistic child for a year in the late 1990s.
The 10th annual World Autism Awareness Day was officially celebrated on April 2, and Ticino actively participates in the event each year. This year the Canton created a "Giant Puzzle" with several public and private schools and institutions taking part by decorating a single piece of the puzzle. Each piece was roughly 50 x 50 cm.
TASIS received eight pieces of the puzzle, and these were decorated by Ms. Bellini’s Middle School students: Ella Abisi, Maya Bjorck, Pedro Cardoso Dias, Santiago Castillo Orozco, Paulina Karstens, Lukas Heuchert de Camargo, Mikael Koppinen, Anastasiia Popova, Victoria Svetlova, and Arslan Timerbaev. The pieces were added to those created by others to complete the puzzle, which was first displayed in Mendrisio on April 1.
The puzzle is now visible to the public at the Scuola Canavée in Mendrisio and will later be displayed at additional locations.