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On April 2, Oakton Elementary School participated in "Light it up Blue Day,” a national day of awareness and acceptance of people affected by autism. Jonelle Shipley, the school’s speech-language pathologist, tie-dyed tees for the autism students, teachers and volunteers to wear. Top row, from left, Shipley; Enhanced Autism program teachers Anna Siller and Mary Lou Marcantuono; Bottom: Students Devin Martin, 12; Anna Kate Martin, 12, and Sarah Carmen, 11.

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In many ways, the three best friends—Anna Kate Martin, Devin Martin and Sarah Carmen—are typical sixth-grade girls.

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