Different but not less

CHHS raises autism awareness with balloon release

Anna Jernigan

Sherrice Wright, Staff Writer

Balloons were released in Center Hill High School’s Commons to celebrate Autism Awareness Month on April 6. This is the third year the school has participated in Autism Awareness Month festivities.

The Autism Society started Autism Awareness Month in April 1970. The month begins with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 every year. On this day, everyone is encouraged to wear blue in support of autism awareness.

Cynthia Bobo, Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team Chairperson at Center Hill, has asked her community-based class to wear blue every day in April to show support for the developmental disorder.

“The community-based class is for students who have a significant cognitive disability,” Bobo said. “They are taught using alternative standards.”

Bobo’s community-based class has been selling small items, such as stickers, buttons and lanyards, as a fundraiser for autism awareness. The class plans to donate the money to the Arc Northwest Mississippi, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Some of Bobo’s students have autism, and she said that they should not be treated any different than other students.

“My students may be different, but they are just as important,” Bobo said. “They deserve the same level of love and respect as everyone else.”

Also helping with Bobo’s class is Special Education Assistant Felicia Hunt, who said there is a lot in store for the community-based class.

“Every Friday, there’s a party,” Hunt said. “This Friday there was a balloon release, but we’ll have blue cupcakes. They will have a big blue party on April 27.”

April 27 is also recognized as national Silly Sock Day in support for those with autism.

Foundations of Journalism student Chloe Orsburn contributed to this story.