Horizon Heights students celebrate Autism Awareness week

El Paso News

Students and teachers at Horizon Heights Elementary School in Horizon City kicked off Autism Awareness week in style Monday morning, with a big show of support for the dozens of students with autism at the school.

Every student at Horizon Heights put down their pencils and textbooks for a moment and came together for a lesson that goes well beyond the classroom. 

A sea of blue balloons and words of love and support kicked off Autism Awareness week on campus. 

“I feel like they want to hang out with me,” Andy Chavez, a student with autism told KTSM. 

Every student cheering on their peers, like Andy Chavez, were there just to show they care. The students listened to the stories of students with autism and their parents.

“They may have a different way of showing or communicating with us, but they are very much like every single one of us,” said Tammy Edwards, access teacher at Horizon Heights. Edwards is one of the organizers of the event. With nearly 40 students at Horizon Heights with autism, she says the message is important.

“The numbers are growing in the schools and society today,” Edwards explained. The very topic brings her to tears as she explains how her own adult son has autism.

“I wish there was something like this for him when he was in the schools he was alone, he was bullied,” Edwards said, as she wiped tears from her eyes.

The goal here this week is to make sure each student feels they are accepted and can reach for the stars. Making a friendship graffiti wall and other events are planned for the rest of the week.  

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