Senior Pursues Links Between Students with Autism

   A new club at Seaholm may change the way students interact with the Special Education department.

   Senior Fiona Fay started Seaholm Links, a club where students go to the Special Education classes during X-Block and spend time with the students. Fay got the idea from spending time with the students last year for AP Psychology.

   “Off the expression on their face, they were so happy to see people encouraging them for simple things,” Fay said. “It was a great thing not only for them, but for us.”

   Fay heard about a program at Derby Middle School similar to what she experienced during the AP Psychology class and decided to start a club similar to it herself.

   “I kept thinking ‘why didn’t Seaholm have one like that?’” Fay said.

   Fay decided to approach junior Theresa Ross and AP Psychology teacher Rochelle Rogers to start the club. Rogers liked the idea of the club because it promotes diversity and an understanding of the Special Education department.

   “The [Autism Spectrum Disorder] ASD program is just as much a part of the Seaholm community,” Rogers said.

   Although the date is to be announced, the club will be open to all Seaholm students and the meetings will occur once a month, according to Fay. She hopes that once it gains more members, it will happen every other week.

   Senior JBess Ruby was a part of Derby Links and will be joining Seaholm Links. She also was a part of the AP Psychology class and went swimming with the Special Education students with her class.

   “We had so much fun encouraging them to play and be with people they’re not used to,” Ruby said.

   Ruby has been encouraging other students to join the club and thinks it will grow fast.

   “People should definitely get involved and experience it and have fun,” Ruby said

   Rogers directed Fay to Special Education teacher Eric Hall to get the club started.

   “[Fay] took the initiative and came forward which was great,” Hall said.

   According to Hall, leadership students and students from Lincoln Street Alternative come in to work with his students, but he appreciates the Links program in a different way.

   “It’s part of a class and credit and everything not only have awareness, but more than awareness about differences at Seaholm and also be really accepting,” Rogers said.

   Fay ultimately wants the experience to be one that brings all of the students together.

   “The most that I’m hoping for is that when the kids see the Autistic kids in the hallway, they’ll make an effort just to say hello,” Fay said. “We’re all in one building; we’re all under one roof. We might as well get to know each other.”

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