In celebration of Autism Month we present this blog and video by the the students of the Influence and Inspire class at the Alyssa Burnett Center.


“The ABC is as unique and special as I am. 

When I am at the ABC, I agree to RISE


The Alyssa Burnett Center (ABC) is special because it’s a place where everyone can be included. RISE stands for Respect, Include, Support, and Enjoy and it is our student code of conduct made by the students of the leadership class. RISE is important at the ABC because it shows how everyone is welcome no matter who you are, as long as we respect, include, and support one another so we can all enjoy our time together.  Everyone is unique and can be themselves here and that’s what makes it a special place. The ABC is special to us because we get to experience all sorts of classes where we learn, grow, connect, socialize, and have fun.  Here are some things to know about RISE.


R is for Respect. I will respect one another. 

I will respect one another’s privacy

I will respect one another’s differences

I will respect one another with the words I use.”


We respect one another when we listen to each other. Some people may like to participate in different ways and that is okay. We respect each other’s boundaries and differences. For example, if someone doesn’t want to participate, instead of forcing them, we can respect others’ choices and decisions. People have their own ways to express their enthusiasm and engage in activities and that is a good thing. Respect is important because we need to take time to understand each other and treat others the way they want and need to be treated.


I is for Include. I will include one another 

All are welcome!” 


Everyone who is a part of the ABC is what makes the ABC special. Sometimes classes can be really big but we do our best to include everyone. The ways we do this are by giving everyone a turn, reaching out to others who haven’t spoken up, and being open to new ideas from our friends. Also, in order to include others, we make sure the environment is safe and accessible for everyone. If students need larger text, closed captions, ASL, noise-canceling headphones, or any other accommodations, we make sure they are included so we can all have a good time together and no one is left out. Another way we are doing our best to include is by our new expansion with more classrooms and our new elevator! Inclusion is important because we want everyone to feel welcome.


S is for Support. I will support one another. 

I will help one another. 

I will be there for one another. 

I will cheer up and cheer on one another.” 


One way we show support is by helping one another. Sometimes it might be a new student or other times it might be a classmate who needs a helping hand. For example, we use ASL to communicate with our nonspeaking friends. When friends are about to share their work or give a performance, we encourage them. If someone is nervous, we give them words of wisdom and after they share we give them applause. Another way we can be supportive is by welcoming new students into the fun. Simply being kind is a way we can be supportive. We all have our ups and downs and when we give each other space and privacy we can support each other. We can be there to comfort those who need it and support them through listening. Each situation is different and everyone needs support in different ways. Support is important because we help those in need and when we are all supported we can work together and conquer hard things.


E is for Enjoy. I will enjoy our time together!”


At the ABC we get to do so many fun things. We play games, make art, laugh together, and share conversations. We get to make new friends, best friends, and special memories. We get to explore new classes, meet new people and staff, and discover things we’ve never known about. It feels like a big adventure. It’s important to enjoy our time together because it makes us all happy, joyful, and builds our identity and character in life. We are one big community and this is how we RISE at ABC.