Circle Of Friends Helps Fourth Grader With Confidence

By  | 

Lincoln, Neb. -- Having a developmental disorder at a young age can be challenging, but staff members at one school are doing what they can to make sure everyone feels accepted and equal.

When a child is on the autism spectrum, it brings new challenges that families must face every day.

One family says their daughter is a light to their life, and gets the support she needs day in and day out.

Della Leavitt is in fourth grade, and from the outside, she's just like any other girl her age.

At Waverly Intermediate School, they have a program called, "Circle of Friends."

This group of students is considered good social role models for those who may lack social skills.

They meet with Della to help her build up her confidence, make friendships she may not have made on her own, and help others understand autism.

"Teach other kids you know what della does this because, when she starts shaking or she starts rocking, she's doing this because she's nervous, this helps her calm down. That just helps educate the rest of the student body." Resource teacher, Stacy Buescher, said.

Buescher says Della has told her that her favorite part of school is time with her circle of friends. Something Della says she's thankful for.

"They're kind and caring because they help me a lot." Della Leavitt said.

Della's classmates all wore matching blue shirts and stickers to support Della on World Autism Day.

"I think it's really cool that we all have the same shirts. And I like how we all stand out and it shows that we're all a group." Classmate Bailee said.

Buescher says Della's classmates know her best, but thanks to Circle of Friends, others do too.

"We just all know Della. She's got such a great personality and easy to get along with that we just all realize that we all have our special strengths and she has hers and we're all one of a kind." Buescher said.

There are other ways Lincoln has honored World Autism Day, today at the capitol, some senators chose to wear blue.

Students at Lincoln High gathered in support for autism awareness.