The first day of school is marked by a certain duality. On one hand, there’s something inherently exciting about the idea of a clean slate, letting you move forward without the burdens from the previous year. But on the other hand, heading to school can feel extremely overwhelming for some students, whether it’s a return or their first foray into a classroom setting.
A strong support system is key no matter how a student processes back-to-school season. For children on the autism spectrum, that support can look and literally feel a little different.
For the one in 59 children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, school and other public places may feel like a sensory overload. And while an “I love you” note from a parent might be enough to comfort most kids, some children on the autism spectrum are comforted in different ways, such as by touching a favorite texture.
With that in mind, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats has partnered with Autism Speaks to create Love Notes: textured, heart-shaped sensory stickers designed to provide comfort to children who respond positively to tactile experiences.
Edelman helped to create the program, while Starcom provided media support. Interested parents can visit the Rice Krispies Love Notes site to request a pack of Love Notes. Each includes four patch-like stickers with different textures—silk, faux fur, fleece, satin and velour.
Kellogg’s has shown a commitment to providing inclusive experiences to children with disabilities over the years. Last year, the company collaborated with the National Federation of the Blind to create Braille Love Notes and recording devices for blind children who were heading to school. This year’s efforts display an understanding that all students deserve to feel loved on such an important day.
“This is a beautiful way to extend our Rice Krispies Treats Love Notes and showcase the many ways to express love and support as kids return to school,” says Kris Bahner, senior vice president of global corporate affairs at Kellogg’s. “This cause is very dear to me as a mom of a child with autism. I know firsthand that love and emotions aren’t always easy for children on the spectrum to express and receive –but they need to feel it and share it as much as any other child.”