Disability curriculum encourages Milton students to ‘celebrate differences’


MILTON — When Elizabeth Avery was a student in the 1970s, she said she was picked on, chosen last for sports and often looked at strangely by both adults and children her own age. She didn’t know how to fit in, she said, because she was shy and didn’t understand things the way her peers did.

“A few kids were nice to me but a lot of kids made fun of me,” she said. “Now I know the reason.”

Avery was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum, when she was 37 years old, decades later than young people are generally diagnosed today. This past Wednesday, she told her story to dozens of Milton fourth-graders at the Cunningham School, giving a face and a voice to the often-misunderstood developmental disorder of autism.