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Minden, NE: H.S. senior with ASD twin brothers creates "sensory board" for classroom

Aug 17, 2019, Kearney (NE) Hub: Creating sensory boards for autistic students hits close to home for Minden Girl Scout MINDEN — Cheyanne Ellis was encouraged to find a subject that interested her when she was researching a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award. Cheyanne pondered ideas such as working with animals or at Pioneer Village in Minden, but then she had an idea that was close to her heart. Cheyanne’s 8-year-old twin cousins, Lex and Lane Long, both have autism. She wanted to find a way to help them and raise awareness for children with autism spectrum disorder. … She contacted Katie Schmidt, the boys’ K-3 life skills teacher at Minden East Elementary School, and told Schmidt about her idea to create sensory boards for their classroom. Sensory sensitivity is a common factor for people with autism. Sensory sensitivity issues may include sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, balance and body awareness, according to the Autism Speaks website. … They are people, too. They do have feelings,” Tammy said. When Cheyanne and Tammy took the sensory objects into the classroom, the twins instantly were drawn to them. … “They were excited,” Cheyanne added. … Cheyanne and her family hope that her project not only will raise awareness about autism, but help people better understand those on the autism spectrum disorder, like Lex and Lane. “They are lovable, and they will love on you. They can’t say it, but they can show it,” Tammy said.
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