Working with neurodiverse children is a job close to April MacDonald Killins’s heart.
Killins struggled with math in school, yet succeeded in the arts, and spent 14 years working as a professional artist after graduating. She never understood what made her different until she was 32, when her doctor told her she had ADHD.
“The diagnosis brought me instant relief,” says Killins, who has come to think of some traits of ADHD as her superpowers.
Killins’s mission is to develop learning techniques to help neurodiverse children succeed.
“Those things that make us different are the same things that make us successful, even if others see them as weaknesses.”
Killins has used her skills as a performer, photographer and researcher to bring arts-based learning into classrooms. Through her work at ABC Head Start Society, Killins aided in introducing cultural spaces, research partnerships for inclusion of multilingual learning, and specialized training around culture and gender diversity.
“We want to represent stories about children with disabilities and children from different countries who are coming to Canada and living their best life,” says Killins.