Lufkin student's science fair project inspired by Autistic broth - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin student's science fair project inspired by Autistic brother

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Taking tests in school is hard enough, but imagine taking them with a heightened sensory disorder. Everything is louder, brighter, more physically irritating, and makes it twice as hard to concentrate.

This is exactly what it's like for Axel Minguez and others with Autism when they try to do academic work.

"I looked at Axel and saw him covering his ears, scratching his neck and he just was asking for someone to take his tag out of his shirt, said Axel's brother, Tristan Minguez.

Tristan was inspired decided to base his science fair project off of Axel's challenge. His hypothesis?

Does heightening one's senses make it more difficult for them to do academic work?

"Tristan would research on Youtube for Autism simulations and we found some that would work out for his experiment,
said Majal Minguez, Tristan and Axel's mother.

Tristan had his test subjects do packets of timed brainteasers in a quiet. stress-free setting. He then had them do the same brainteasers with sensory simulations, which included loud music, sitting on blocks, flashing lights, and items that irritated the skin.

The test subjects definitely noticed the difference.

"It was pretty hard,
said experiment participant Grace Love.

"It really helped me feel what they feel in terms of the sensory input,
said experiment participant Lynn Blackwell.  Understanding it is one thing, but experiencing it is something else."

That is exactly what Tristan wanted people to get out of his experiment, to see what people like his brother Axel, experience every day.

Unlike most kids that compete in the science fair, Tristan's goal isn't to win.

"What our main goal is, is not really to win. Our goal is to spread awareness for Autism,
Tristan said. We just want to spread it so everyone knows and they can help support Autism and help find a cure for it."

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