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Since 2013, City Honors graduates have received an estimated $9.25 million in scholarships and grants from Say Yes Buffalo and Say Yes to Education’s Higher Education Partners! Thank you Say Yes Buffalo! Learn more and support Say Yes Buffalo:

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Take a moment to view this brief clip from Stanford University’s Assistant Dean of Admissions (also a former IB parent) on the value of an IB education: https://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2016/04/26/stanfords-assistant-dean-of-admissions-on-the-value-of-an-ib-education/ 

City Honors School is a unique environment with students of diverse backgrounds, including those who are seen differently by our world. Though we do not adjust readily to differences in people, we must come to terms with understanding our classmates with disabilities that which are irreversible. The STARS (Students with Autism Rising to Success) includes students ranging from those with autism to those with Asperger’s Syndrome. In the fall of 2014, our STARS students joined CHS’s Social Club for the first time so that all of us could communicate, cooperate, and reach understanding in a social setting. It is imperative that we as a society never underestimate the capabilities of STARS students. All of us at CHS can lead by example by being “bridge builders” to advocate awareness for the problems of autism that should never be overlooked.

Autism is a series of disorders on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Autistic criteria include lack of communication skills, repetitive behavior and mannerisms that doctors identify according to the severity of the condition. However, it is important to look at strengths such as academic excellence that can bring hope to autistic people. Each form of autism is unique, but it is compiled in a range of symptoms and classified on the Autism Spectrum.  If you look up autism in a Google search, you will find that symptoms appear within the first year to year and a half of a child’s life that would lead to an autism diagnosis. While these symptoms inhibit the development of social and human relationship skills, they do not necessarily mean a dismal, failing outcome. 

In a PBS film series titled “This Emotional Life” (2010), social psychologist Daniel Gilbert searched for the meaning of happiness by trying to understand the elements that make people happy. We learn how to interact with people and then fall into the normal social queues of society. Thus, we avoid loneliness by finding substitutes that, at least temporarily, let us gain companionship. However, some of the elements of learning maintain social relationships are absent in autistic people. Jason Ross, a 29-year-old in the film, tries to express what happiness is for him with has Asperger’s Syndrome. His language deficits are prominent barrier because he often does not interpret the irony or subtle rhetorical shifts in a word or phrase. Jason experiences great frustration because of his lack of perception. He then is asked to watch a movie using an ocular device that allows scientists to assess what he is looking at in real time. Throughout the film, he is seldom concentrating on the conversation, but rather on the light as his eyes constantly shift in that direction, strengthening the perception that Jason, as with others with Asperger’s Syndrome, takes extreme interest in specific objects. In the end, Jason, mentioned that he completed post-secondary education and became a sonographer, one who studies medical imaging through high frequency waves to analyze patterns such as heartbeats in children in the womb. Asperger’s, for Jason, did not imprison him in a life of incapability. Rather, it opened him up to success in the field of sonography by using the unique abilities of his condition.

Breaking away from the norm seems to be a trend among our generation. Disabilities, reform, and overall change have never pleased everybody, but what does? We have the power to exercise our rights, so we should now make the effort to embrace with tolerance those children and adults who have autistic disabilities. Canisius College has recently established the Institute for Autism Research (IAR), an initiative to join student researchers from disparate disciplines to study causes, clinical treatment and to differentiate between fact and misconception. Since a defining characteristic of the autistic people is their lack of social connection to others, the institute has worked on creating social breakthroughs for them. Their five-week summer program, summerMAX, teaches high-functioning autistic children to enhance their social skills by teaching them to maintain eye contact, to interact in groups, and to read facial expressions. By using “pro-social behavior”, their success is rewarded by field trips. This goal of positive social behavior is one that we all should strive for when stepping into adult society: to strengthen our social skills and to maintain relationships at work and in school.

None of us can understand firsthand the difficulties of living with a disorder as consuming as autism. We must therefore be considerate and caring.  Taunting and tormenting is absolutely unacceptable and should never be tolerated for people with Asperger’s and autism disorders are an addition to our society. It adds to our world by showing what a mysterious and wondrous organ the human brain can be, capable of harnessing beautiful, unknown patterns that bring about differentiation in our species.

Submitted by: Morgan Morris, ’17, The CHS View Student Reporter

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  • Events at a Glance

    October 29: Senator Kennedy’s College Fair
    October 31: Pelion’s Spook-a-Rama
    October 31 – November 8: Cardinal Craze Week
    November 2: SAT Testing
    November 14: Underclassmen Photo Retake Day
    December 5: Parent/Teacher Conferences, 5-7p
    December 13: Winter Bazaar
    January 17: Keeping the Dream Alive Assembly

     

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