Autism Awareness Week: How One Student Strives for More Inclusivity

Autism+Awareness+Week%3A+How+One+Student+Strives+for+More+Inclusivity

Written by: Emily Long, Assistant Editor

From April 12 through April 16, Student Council is sponsoring an “Autism Awareness Week”.  The idea was started by senior Jaclyn Lawrence as a way to bring attention to disorders. 

 

StuCo should represent leaders within our building and even community. A part of being a good leader is to bring education and awareness to topics that some students may not be familiar with,” said Student Council Morehead.

 

Lawrence is a member of Student Council, and she presented the idea to sponsor Jessica Morehead.  

 

“Kids blindly use hurtful words like the ‘R-word’ and don’t realize what it means and how it hurts others. Back when my brother was in 5th grade kids used to call him ‘bunny rabbit’ because of his jumping tic. They didn’t realize that it can be offensive and wrong. Showing our school that the R-word is offensive and wrong might help our school become more welcoming and open-minded,” said Lawrence. 

 

Members of the Student Council were asked to help with this event.  

 

This week is important to me because my brother is on the spectrum. I had always wanted to spread awareness about the ‘R-word’ and autism to the schools because of what I hear in the hallways and see online,” said Lawrence. 

 

Due to the pandemic, a lot of activities that were sponsored by student council, like pep rallies, dances and fundraisers were postponed this year and student council didn’t get to be as involved as they would be in a normal school year. 

 

It was really difficult to think of ideas of community involvement while keeping COVID guidelines in mind. We are hoping to shed some light on myths and facts of Autism, and help create a more inclusive community,” said Morehead. 

 

In the midst of a scandal at the school involving hurtful language, Lawrence and Student Council are hoping to change the narrative of how students at our school speak about differences. 

 

“As a student myself, I want to walk the hallways and change the vocabulary of kids at our school. Showing awareness is allowing kids to step in the shoes of their peers and ask themselves if using the ‘R-word’ or making fun of kids for something they cannot control is helpful to them or their peers,” said Lawrence. 

 

Throughout the week, there will be a spirit week and even daily announcements with facts about Autism. Student Council will also be selling wristbands to benefit the Autism Society.