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Getting to Know: Affton High's Special Education Students

This year, special school district in Affton students fixed Thanksgiving dinner for faculty, sang Christmas carols on Cougar News and cheered on their classmates during sporting events.

Everybody’s alike, and everyone is different: that’s the motto in Affton High School’s special education class.

“They know certain things are challenging for them, but not impossible,” Special School District teacher Mary Beth Merlo said about her students. “They really yearn to be friends with the general education population.”

Special education students in Affton manage cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, autism, blindness, language impairments, Down syndrome and other special needs on top of their academic responsibilities.

“The Affton students are absolutely phenomenal with the acceptance and their kindness to these kids,” Merlo said. “It’s really heartwarming.”

This year, special education students fixed Thanksgiving dinner for faculty, sang Christmas carols on Cougar News, joined the Anime Club and cheered on their classmates during sporting events.

Special education student Abbie Haldaman said she loves how included she feels at high school.

“I think the whole school should be included because it’s very polite,” Abbie said. “You don’t want to leave anybody out.”

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