Gateway Academy to host student spring fashion show

Gateway Academy grand opening celebration on Saturday, April 29. (submitted photo)

Gateway Academy, which serves students with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism, will host a student spring fashion show at 9 a.m. Friday, April 26 at Gateway’s Phoenix campus, 3939 E. Shea Blvd., to celebrate April’s Autism Awareness Month.

The fashion show will be in the Atrium at Gateway Academy. The school will offer a small breakfast for attendees and then dozen of students from first through 12th will strut their best self-inspired fashions on the catwalk, a press release states.

The students will be using various materials, including buttons, fabrics, zippers and other props to create their one-of-a-kind look. The show is intended to celebrate and raise awareness, during April’s Autism Awareness Month.

Adding some inspiration to the student’s looks on April 26 will be Fashion Designer Michael Ryan Andolsek, who runs a women’s apparel company with a unique social mission focused on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Mr. Andolsek was diagnosed with autism at the age of 21. Prior to his diagnosis, he discovered a passion and great skill for dressmaking and clothing design.

Being an individual with autism, Andolsek is aware of the challenges that come with having the disorder and the obstacles and setbacks that arise in all aspects of life, including the pursuit of professional goals and dreams.

With students enrolled from throughout the U.S., Gateway Academy has earned a national reputation for providing a holistic educational experience.

“At Gateway Academy we love to celebrate our twice exceptional students and their individual personalities and styles, which makes each of them very unique and special,” Gateway Academy Executive Director and CEO, O. Robin Sweet said in a prepared statement.

“We are so happy to present this fashion show, as another way to celebrate Autism Awareness Month, and everything we are doing at Gateway to give students the best education possible.”

In 2018, the CDC determined that approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

Most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed, as early as age 2, according to a release.

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