BluePrint Staff Recognizes Autism Awareness Month

School Paper Raises Funds and Awareness for Second Year


Junior Rachel Harris poses beside the display case outside of the high school main office. Harris created the display, which is devoted to promoting autism awareness.

You walk around the halls with your friends talking and laughing, simply having a good time. But you see one student who is different. He does things unlike everyone else and struggles with daily life activities. Your friends and you just ignore him because to you, he seems in many ways like just another quiet kid.

For the 2nd year, the BluePrint is involved with Autism Awareness Month. As a fundraiser, the BluePrint sells shirts that say “Autism Speaks. Light It Up Blue.” With the money that the BluePrint raises, a donation is made to the Blair County Easter Seals.

Last year, the BluePrint donated$500. This year, the BluePrint raised over $700 by selling almost 150 shirts.

Autism awareness is an opportunity to educate the community about autism and the issues faced by students living with autism.

Clinically speaking, Autism is a developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by behavior patterns especially as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones.

Light it Up Blue is a way to encourage people to be aware of autism. It refers to making a difference. Light up someone’s mood. Make a donation.

This year the BluePrint is featuring 5 stories about people whose lives have been impacted by autism, ranging from students at Bellwood-Antis to their parents to the teachers and agencies that provide services.