White River HS teen with autism elected to Homecoming Court

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on October 7, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 7 at 6:08 PM

BUCKLEY, Wash. -- For the first time in school history, a White River High School student with autism is on the Homecoming Court.

Brendan Walton's mother did not believe the news.

"There've been a lot of moments, 'Is this ever going to get better?'" said mother Diane Larsen. "This week I have been taught, it totally does. It totally gets better."

She credits teacher Dianne Campbell and the organization called "Connections" that Campbell created 15 years ago. She started bringing students she called "differently able" into her classrooms to interact with her students.

"It's a reciprocal relationship," said Campbell.

Campbell said her students may gain more from the program than the special needs students.

She called getting Walton elected to the court a "big deal."

"He's got a posse now," said Campbell.

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