PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — April is Autism Awareness Month. This Friday, we’re spotlighting a 12-year-old boy who has a creative way of encouraging the community to celebrate our differences.
Every year, James Dobson Elementary School pays a graphic designer to design t-shirts so they can sell them to raise money for autism. But this year, they found a talented performer within the student body.
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Sixth grader Tawanne Williams uses art to express herself.
“It was like second grade where I was having trouble because I realized I had autism,” Tawanne said.
Tawanne is one of 18 students in Dobson’s Autism Support Program.
He believes that all children can get along.
This beautiful drawing highlights it.
“He first drew the image for our kindergarten open day and went from there to put it on a t-shirt because it did such a good job of showing inclusion with all the kids in a school,” said Alice Antrim, who has autism. support program teacher.
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The school sells the t-shirts on its website for $15.
“A lot of people, especially here, think autism means someone is slow,” Tawanne said, “but actually it means someone — autistic people’s brains work differently than non-autistic people’s. autism”.
All proceeds from the sale of the shirts go to autism support programs so they can purchase sensory toys.
Tawanne even did a commercial.
“The fact that he used his design to raise awareness for Autism Acceptance Month is just, it’s just wonderful,” said Khloe Williams-Lawani, Principal of James Dobson Elementary School. .
When Tawanne isn’t designing t-shirts, he’s creating animations for his YouTube channel. His dream is to become an animator and he is well on his way.
“I’ve always said that. Designs don’t have to be fancy or complex to tell a story,” Tawanne said.
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The school hopes to sell about 100 T-shirts. The deadline to buy them is Monday.