WHS Celebrates Autism Awareness Month



Wadsworth High School celebrated Autism Acceptance since April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Awareness Month has been celebrated since the Autism Society introduced it in 1972.

Emily Ostings and Taylor Gardner, intervention specialists at WHS, introduced the idea to have a spirit week the week of April 11-14. Mrs. Ostings believes that one of the main goals of having a spirit week is to hopefully encourage people to learn more about autism. 

“I just think everybody is different and unique, and [spreading awareness] makes people think ‘Oh what is all this about’ and maybe makes them research on their own,” Mrs. Ostings said. 

April 11 was Mindful Sensory Monday because people with autism have a variety of sensory sensitivities. Students were instructed to wear their most comfy pajamas.

Hailey Duong (left) and Allison Schroeder (right) wearing pajamas for Mindful Sensory Monday. Photo by Brooke Baughman

Wadsworth High School was shut down on April 12, but students continued spirit week on Autism Acceptance Wednesday. One characteristic of autism is to show incredible focus on multiple different passions, so students wore mixtures of blue, green, yellow and red.

(from left to right) Sophomores’s Hailey Duong, Brooke Baughman, Kyleigh Johnson, and Marella Pasio
Sophomore’s Emily Nagel (left) Allison Schroeder (middle) and Peyton Looper (right)

April 14 was Talented Mind Thursday, which highlighted the fact that the brains of people with autism work differently than people without autism. Students wore hats and crazy hair-dos.

Mrs. Ostings was proud of all the participation by students. 

Ryan Loose, Sophomore
(left) Maggie Katafiasz (right) Mark Eaton wearing hats for Talented Mind Thursday

“I think it is really cool because our school has been amazing at supporting our students and working with our students, so to see anybody participating, it’s awesome and I love it,” said Mrs Ostings. 

Autism Acceptance week has also helped students with autism feel accepted and know that even though they are different and unique, other people including their peers support them.

“We have some students that have been like, ‘Hey look I’m wearing tie-dye today’ or ‘ Hey I’m wearing pajamas today’ or whatever the theme is,” said Mrs. Ostings. “They love it and I think they are appreciative as well.”

Wadsworth High School had a successful spirit week and hoped that it spread awareness and educated people about autism and its different traits and characteristics.