Jack’s fellow-students show solidarity at graduation.
There’s a wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms for people with autism. They can have difficulty with communication and interaction, repetitive behaviors, restricted interests, and symptoms that can hurt their ability to function well in work, school, and other areas of life, Positive Outlooks reports.
In the case of Jack, a graduating senior at Carmel High School in New York, it takes the form of extreme sensitivity to loud noises and limited verbal ability.
His parents, Barbara and Pat, wanted him to be able to participate in the graduation ceremony on June 20 like all of his peers but they were concerned that their son would feel overwhelmed by the noise of the usual applause given to students as they receive their diplomas.
The school principal came up with a plan: he would ask everyone to remain silent when Jack came up to the podium.
Accompanied by his two brothers and a school aide, Jack approached the stage with his fingers in his ears, bracing for the inevitable loud claps and cheers – but the student body and guests stayed as quiet as they could, only giving soft golf claps as Jack received his diploma.
Not only that, the graduating class of 2019 gave Jack a silent standing ovation.