Silent message: Connie Lekas School hosts annual autism awareness event

Wearing it proudly: Connie Lekas staff members Claude Paulin and Jenielle Mann show off the shirts for the event.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It was a silent rave with a loud message.

Students and faculty gathered in Sheepshead Bay’s Connie Lekas School on April 13 to raise awareness for autism.

The school, which serves students with special needs from 12 to 21 years old, held the annual installment of “Light It Up Blue,” featuring a silent rave, as kids danced to music from noise-cancelling headphones, according to an organizer.

“Young people these days are listening with noise reduction headphones, which is perfect for people with autism because they react so much to sound, which makes it hard to concentrate. So, our principal, Antoinette Rose, planned a silent disco,” said Marcia Cacaci. “The kids were able to dance just like everyone else.”

More than 150 people attended the event, held at 2525 Haring St., which also featured food, arts and crafts, and games designed for children with special needs.

“We had arts and crafts, face painting, a bouncy house. And we had a room full of adapted physical activities, like bowling,” Cacaci said.

She called the event a success in raising awareness about autism and provided good fun for the school children.

“We are just focused on the children’s happiness,” she said.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577.

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