When you go to a graduation ceremony, you can be sure there will always be classmates and families who yell and applaud for their kids and friends as their name is called to walk across the stage. But a few weeks ago at a high school graduation ceremony in New York, one classmate got the silent treatment. Jack Higgins is a student with autism who is nonverbal and is hypersensitive to loud sounds and crowds. So his parents weren’t sure if he would make it through the long ceremony. Lou Riolo, the principal of the high school, asked that Jack participate, as they had a special plan in mind. As Jack’s name was called, the students all stood up, and barely made a sound while pretending to clap, giving him a silent ovation. Jack started across the stage with his fingers to his ears to get his diploma but realized it wasn’t needed, thanks to his fellow classmates and the care they showed him. Jack is set to attend Ability Beyond in Chappaqua, N.Y., a program tailored to students with disabilities.