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West Teays shining light on autism awareness

Apr. 05, 2013 @ 01:00 PM

HURRICANE -- West Teays Elementary School has planned several events in April in honor of Autism Awareness Month, according to a news release from the school.

Beginning on April 9, the school PTO will run an "awareness store" each morning before school, where students can purchase items with proceeds being used to add upgraded surfacing and inclusive equipment to its existing playground.

The students will participate in several presentations and discussions with outside experts on a variety of topics, including Project Lifesaver, sensory experiences, and autism service dogs.

Each morning, the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by students from the special education classrooms at the school. Each classroom at the school will decorate a puzzle piece which will be assembled and the artwork displayed in the school.

In addition, students are invited to wear blue each Wednesday in April for autism awareness.

The activities will wrap up with a balloon release and a door decorating contest that will be judged by Hurricane Mayor Scott Edwards.

It is estimated that as many as one in 88 American children is on the autism spectrum. Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders -- autism spectrum disorders -- caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors.