Many thanks to Sebastian, a Weiss Pediatric patient and our guest blogger, for helping us better understand autism.  Sebastian is 10 years old and won first place in Tropicana’s 4th grade speech contest with his essay, I’m  Autistic and That’s A-OK.

Let me ask you guys, with a show of hands. How many of you truly know what Autism is?……. I’m here to help you know what it is how it affects daily life, and give you history and research about autism.  I’m the cool kid that knows about it and I’m going to teach you.

Let’s start here…. What is Autism? Autism is a disorder that affects how your brain works and might make it hard to talk, understand other people and learn new things. Your brain plays an important role in four areas of the Autism Spectrum Disorder: communication, socialization, interests, and behavior. All this hard work might make you feel tired or frustrated, but you can do it!

Moving along to a day in the life with me! My name is Sebastian and I’m 10 years old. Guess what, I have Autism. I look like any other 10-year-old boy, unless something exciting is happening. Then, I start telling stories with my hands. That keep me entertained. I build with my legos. I like to construct cities and design buildings, theme parks, and worlds of my own.  I also like to make movies of them. I worry about scheduling time, and loud noises more than the average 10-year-old. When I get worked up, I sometimes wear a special vest, hold weights in my hands, go for a swing and you may see me bouncing my feet on a giant rubber band connected to my chair. Believe it or not these things help relax and calm me down.

Last, but not least, I want to educate you by giving you research about autism history. For many years, very little was known about Autism. Educating adults and students will help us in the future. As far as research today all sorts of books, magazines and websites talk about the condition.  Searching back in history to imagine whether anybody famous had Autism. Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity. But as a child, he was a loner. Albert Einstein has an obsessive way of repeating sentences until he was seven years old. Is this proof of Autism? Maybe

No one states it better than Daniel Stefanski what he says,” Don’t feel sorry for me because I have Autism, but I’m cool with who I am. I love lots of things about my life…. I will always have autism, but that doesn’t mean my future won’t be amazing….