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HALES CORNERS - Edgerton Elementary had the blues, but in the best way possible.

Rather than being down in the dumps, Edgerton was actually striving for an uplifting atmosphere, utilizing blue, the official color of autism awareness, to show support for students with autism.

At the beginning of the day on March 27, more than a dozen staff members showed support by getting blue dye or extensions in their hair, or, in the case of head custodian Daniel Ramczyk, their beard. Even Whitall superintendent Lisa Olson turned up to get a blue hair extension.

Those who colored their hair also made a contribution to Good Friend Inc., which has worked with the school in the past, conducting schoolwide workshops to create awareness and teach acceptance for our students with autism.

Teachers also wore blue autism awareness T-shirts that Monday in honor of Autism Awareness Day, April 2.

"By participating in these visible signs of support, we continue to create awareness of autism in our school," said Edgerton Principal Chris D'Acquisto. "We hope that an increased understanding will foster empathy for our students with autism spectrum disorder."

According to the Good Friends website, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention has found that one out of every 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder.

Several students at Edgerton have autism, as well, and Principal D'Acquisto says that students and staff at Edgerton strive to make them feel accepted and included every day.

"I believe the support they do feel is through the actions of staff and students and how they interact with, approach, and work with students with ASD due to increased awareness and knowledge," D'Acquisto said.

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