STAFF and pupils from a specialist school have marked the end of Autism Acceptance Month with a 'Walk for Acceptance'.

Walkers from Aycliffe School, run by the North East Autism Society (NEAS), covered the two-mile route along Locomotion Way, between Shildon and Newton Aycliffe railway stations.

Pupils were sponsored for taking part, with the school so far collecting a total of £270 to support NEAS’ services.

They also got involved with crafting activities, making their own T-shirts on the theme of ‘Let Me Be Me’, which they wore on the walk.

Although NEAS’ annual fundraising Walk for Acceptance in Herrington Park, in Sunderland, had to be postponed due to poor weather and park conditions, the sun came out for Aycliffe’s pupils, who enjoyed blue skies and clear weather for their walk.

The Northern Echo:

Principal at Aycliffe School, Kirsty Carr, said: “Aycliffe School again celebrated Autism Acceptance Month with a two-mile walk from Shildon to Newton Aycliffe.  All of the school walked in the sunshine in our homemade T-shirts to celebrate our individuality and strengths.”

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Pupils of all ages took part, with the walk covering a distance twice the length of the Society’s Herrington Park route, and Kirsty added: “It was particularly impressive to see our four-year-olds complete the whole walk.”

Children and young people at the school also took place in other activities to promote autism acceptance along the Society’s theme of ‘Let Me Be Me’, being provided with resources to create poems, short stories, or scrapbooks about themselves.

Autism Acceptance Month lasted throughout April, encouraging society to make changes to be more understanding and accepting of autistic people.