Standing up in front of a group of your peers to do a presentation is hard at the best of times, especially when you are a kid. Add being autistic to that mix, and the difficulty level raises exponentially.
George Yionoulis, a nine-year-old fourth-grader from North Carolina was asked by his teacher if he would be interested in talking to his class about autism and how it affects him. He didn't hesitate for a moment and said yes. But he decided not to go about it conventionally with a presentation to his class, he decided to make his own music video. That video has now gone viral, and people are blown away.
When I watched his video, I was blown away. It hits so close to home for me because two of my daughters have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and neither my wife or I know what the future holds. They are younger than George, but I can only hope that they grow to be as open and engaging as he is, it is inspiring on so many levels.
Check out his video, and just try to imagine the courage and strength it took him to accomplish this.
The music video struck George as the best way to reach his classmates because of his communication difficulties.
"Sometimes he'll go over the top responding to something or he'll get upset in class and other kids don't necessarily know how to deal with it," Lisa Jolley, George's mom explained. "It takes him longer to process information -- to see the big picture. Why should I be quiet? Why do I have to sit for so long while class is going? What we try and illustrate is that he has so much in his head."
George's video does a spectacular job giving people who are unfamiliar with what living with, or caring for someone with autism can be like. It isn't the end of the world. It can be challenging, but all worthwhile things are.
Check out the video and share it with your friends.