Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

April 27, 2014

Different not Less

CLAREMORE —

What other childhood epidemic has received so little attention? April’s Autism “Awareness” month is almost over but nothing has changed.  
The past 30 years of awareness did not come to terms with probable causes nor establish cures. In spite of government statistics revealing an alarming number of children with autism, now 1 in 68, and Oklahoma being one of the worst states in our country to raise an autistic child, there is hope.
Some children are recovering from autism due to the tenacity of dedicated families and doctors who are taking action, not waiting on federal agencies that are ignoring this epidemic.   Most encouraging is the hope evolving from our young people in how they relate to their autistic peers.
America’s youth have stepped up to the plate exhibiting an incredible amount of understanding, support and approval of their peers that are growing up with autism and other life changing disorders.  
In March of this year, Trinity Classical Academy was in a championship basketball game against Desert Chapel High School.  
Trinity subbed Beau Howell, an autistic student, in the last few minutes of the game.  Howell had never scored a point and his teammates did their best to get him the ball, but each attempt was a missed basket.  
Desert Chapel got the rebound with 30 seconds remaining and called a time-out.  Desert Chapel, down in the final moments in a championship game, gives the ball to Howell and clears a path to the basket where Howell scores his first basket - ever.  
Several high schools around the country have revealed how much our teens appreciate and affirm their peers who are afflicted with autism.  Indianapolis, IN, Tri-West High School seniors not only voted Seth Knox and Kelsey Roeser, two students with severe autism, to the homecoming court, they proudly elected them King and Queen. The students at Tri-West accept Knox and Roeser as their equals, different, not less.  

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