Graduating high school is a big deal! Jack Higgins, is 21, autistic, and has severe sensory overload issues. He worked harder than most to earn a degree, but his family was worried that he wouldn't be able to walk across a stage and take his diploma because of the applause. His principle made a special request to the audience. He asked that the crowd understand Jack’s sensory issue and please remain silent so he could walk up without being overwhelmed by noise.
Carmel High School principal Lou Riolo did say that a soft clap would be acceptable. Not only did the audience soft clap, but many used sign language to cheer. With ears plugged because he was expecting a roar from the crowd,Jack walked across the stage and accepted his diploma.
Riolo was moved after fist bumping the young achiever. He later said "The students were amazing. They are a class act and superseded expectations. I truly believe people have a kind, compassionate soul and they want to help and this was one of those occasions."