CARMEL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An autistic student in New York who is hypersensitive to sound was able to attend his high school graduation thanks to the amazing compassion of his classmates.
Jack Higgins was graduating from Carmel High School in Putnam County.
He spent eight years in the school’s specialized PACE program to get to that day however, Jack can become overstimulated by loud noises – like clapping and the roar of a crowd.
That’s when Carmel’s graduating class of 2019 stepped up to make sure Jack could receive his diploma – holding a “silent graduation” for Jack.
After school principal Lou Riolo explained what their classmate needed, the Carmel students and the entire auditorium filled with family and friends went silent and then stood in appreciation as Jack Higgins was called to the stage to receive his diploma.
“He is a wonderful member of our student community,” principal Riolo wrote in a YouTube video of the ceremony.
“What followed was nothing short of a miracle. We shot for the moon but instead reached the stars.”
Many of Jack’s classmates waved and did silent golf claps as the young man walked off with his brothers, who were with him for his special moment.
Higgins is now headed to Chappaqua to continue this education at Ability Beyond – a program for people with disabilities.