Home News Gymnasium honors autistic classmate with ‘quiet’ graduation

Gymnasium honors autistic classmate with ‘quiet’ graduation


In a lot of ways individuals are doing their best to make the masses more inclusive of others, and it is always rewarding to see the results pay off. If you don’t believe us, check out this video filmed in Danbury, Connecticut. The video shows the graduation ceremony of Carmel High School students and the magical moment they all made sure to make it a memorable one for their autistic friend Jack Higgins.

There are various degrees of autism, some individuals have a better reaction to therapy and can socialize with others, while some have a really hard time to do so. People on the autism spectrum are usually focused on one subject and shifting their attention to another thing might cause discomfort and irritation. As most of them are sensitive to noise and/or light, it is really important not to give them a sensory overload.

Having these things in mind, Carmel High School principal Lou Riolo came up with a solution, asking the entire crowd to stay quiet as Higgins received his diploma. He wasn’t sure whether this would work, but was pleasantly surprised when all of the students and guests in attendance became silent the second Jack came up on stage. He instructed them to softly “golf clap” if they wanted to, and they heeded his advice. Higgins was part of the New York school’s PACE program for students with cognitive, learning or behavior challenges.

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