LAHS group hosts wetlands outing for ASD students

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Picture are some of the peer counselors for Peer 1 on 1 at Bolsa Chica Wetlands: from left Matthew Cheng, Kevin Jiang, Allison Qu, Leon Zhang, Kevin Zhang, and Nathan Cheng. Courtesy photo

By Nathan Cheng

On January 4, the Seal Beach/Huntington Branch of Peer 1 on 1 group organized a Bolsa Chica Wetland Museum and Hiking event. There were over 30 peers, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and their parents. A scientist began to introduce the various marine wildlife, and allow the participants to feel the spiny skin of a starfish, snakes and learned different species of birds. Outside of the museum, the peer counselor walked with the students with ASD during the hike of a one and a half-mile loop with a view of the wetlands and Bolsa Chica State Beach.

Stopping at various outlooks, the group admired the fiery sun’s reflection on the water, the intricacies of nature’s complex system, and the vast array of wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic. Multiple ASD participants were soothed by a peaceful environment.

Student director for the Seal Beach and Huntington Beach branch, Nathan Cheng stated that “Peer 1 on 1 provides an excellent opportunity for ASD students to have outdoor exercise with their peers.”

Parents also commented that participants gained valuable experience with nature. This Seal Beach/Huntington Beach Branch focuses on the fitness of those with ASD, and this event was a great way to start the 2020 peer exercise programs.

Nathan Cheng is a 10th grade student at Los Alamitos High School