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Student building sensory classroom
HARDIN COUNTY- by Haley Bull
April is Autism awareness month, but one local local student is looking to make an impact that will last much longer through his Eagle Scout project.
"If you can come up with that big of an idea at that age, that's an inspiration to me," Barbara Hartt said.
One Kountze High School student inspired dozens of people in a body pump fitness class.
"I cannot even imagine dealing with the things that he has to deal with and so I, I just admire him," Krystal David said.
They're squatting, lifting and raising money for one boy's mission to help other students facing similar challenges to his own battle with Autism.
"It's just something that makes kids a little bit more special," Kim Kelley, owner of Phoenix Group Fitness in Lumberton, said.
The fitness center auctioned off bench spots in the body pump class Saturday, raising $3,500 dollars for Michael Greer's project.
"It's kind of a big deal for everybody that has it, their parents are saying it's a miracle," Greer said.
He's turning a room at Kountze High School into a sensory classroom.
Everything in the room is designed to be therapeutic to students who are hypo or hyper sensitive, even the color of the wall. Michael picked that out himself.
"It was a soothing color, because like an ice-pack blue, it keeps you clam," he said.
Michael and his mother Barbara Greer bought things like textured gloves, medicine balls, soft lighting and different sensory items.
"This is a therapeutic swing, what helped me as a little kid, it kind of gives me a little bit of comfort and a little bit of warmth, kind of like my own home," Greer said.
The space will be a room designed to help calm students.
"Most of us, we have normal senses, but people in the spectrum or with ADHD have heightened senses and so maybe they hear the lights flickering in the classroom or people tapping their pencils, or feel their clothes itch," Greer's counselor, Erica Duckworth, said, making it harder for them to learn.
Greer has had to learn how to deal with Autism since he was three years old, now he's teaching others.
"He has taught me to see abilities instead of disabilities," Duckworth said.
His idea is impacting an entire community.
"I am a kid with Autism and I want to help people that have Autism," Greer said.