Schools and Libraries
May 7, 2014
The Long Beach Best Pals Club held its second annual Autism Awareness Day on April 25. Throughout Autism Awareness Month in April, club members were busy taking orders for autism awareness T-shirts, bracelets and cookbooks, raising more than $1,800 for the Best Pals program in support of individuals with autism. Students and staff members wore their T-shirts on April 25 to support autism awareness. A real spirit of teamwork went into making the event a success. Long Beach High School junior and student intern Casey Roesch helped design the T-shirts, National Art Honor Society members made bracelets, cookbooks were produced by Eric Heck's Life Skills computer class, and Best Pals club member Charlie Butler made an informational speech as part of the high school morning announcements.
Autism spectrum disorder and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism now affects one in 68 children and one in 42 boys. There is no single known cause for autism spectrum disorder; instead multiple factors may lead to an individual obtaining a diagnosis.
The Best Pals Club was created to give students in the Skills and Academics for Independent Living class (also known as SAIL) a way to make friends with students in other classes.The club members meet regularly for pizza parties, game days, bowling outings, dances and other social activities.