Norman 8th Grader Launches Autism Awareness Project
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A lot of kids will be home for spring break next week. And one metro girl will be spending hers a little differently.
She's working on a big project to raise awareness for autism. The project is called "Show Your Colours for Autism." The goal is to show support for those with autism and to raise funding for local special education services.
It's something 8th-grader Cassidy Gaddie is passionate about, and she's using her creativity to spread her cause. When you first meet Cassidy, you'll find she's a creative 13 year old, a little soft-spoken, with a message that's loud and clear.
"Show Your Colours for Autism" is a project she started a few months ago to raise awareness about the disorder. Some of her close friends have autism, and she saw they were getting picked on at school.
"They're just the same as you and me, except they just have a function that makes them behave differently or socialize differently," Gaddie said.
So she decided to do something about it. She's tie-dying T-shirts to sell with proceeds going toward autism support groups and the special educations classrooms at her school in Norman.
"I'll do homework or something, and then we'll go tie-dye T-shirts, get as many as we can done, then take a break," Gaddie said.
So far, she's sold about 200 shirts, each one a little different.
"Once I started thinking about it more, I realized how much more symbolic it is of everything, and that just kind of tied it all together," Gaddie says. "To be able to see that transformation and better understanding, it kind of just brings a smile to your face."
Autism and autism spectrum disorders affect about 1 in every 90 children in the United States. Cassidy's hoping to sell her T-shirts in time for National Autism Awareness Day on April 2n
Cassidy's family has set up a website to help sell her t-shirts at www.showyourcoloursforautism.org