Horizon Heights raises autism awareness with annual event

Horizon Heights Elementary had its annual autism awareness rally to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month with students, teachers, and the entire school community.

The event featured encouraging words from a high school student, the reading of a poem by an elementary student and an explosion of party poppers that emitted blue smoke to symbolize the widely recognized blue in honor of autism awareness. The celebration atmosphere inspired the cheering students.

“We have been doing this for four years,” said Edith Carrillo, Horizon Heights assistant principal. “We start educating our students on the awareness of autism as early as possible. We believe creating awareness creates acceptance.”

Carrillo said it was so important for all students to become aware because often children with autism feel lonely.

“By creating awareness, our students understand some students are different,” Carrillo said. “Our students seek them out to become friends. It instills kindness and acceptance.”

Laura Tena, who has two sons with autism, appreciates the school’s efforts.

“I love that the school is doing this because it brings knowledge to other kids about autism,” Tena said. “I feel more comfortable about bringing my kids here because everyone is a little more kind and a little more aware. It’s a wonderful school.”

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