This guest post is from Maylene Klien on her very special family from Pearl River, New York.
For World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, two of my children decided to do something special for their brother, Nicky, who is on the autism spectrum - an idea that was completely their own which made it very touching to me. My son Wally, who is 11 and has actually done the speech four times now, was first encouraged to give a speech about Nicky because when he was growing up, he was really hurt when we were out and kids or even adults would make fun or stare at him. He also noticed that when I or my husband would explain to a stranger or a child why our son Nicky behaved they way he did, they immediately would change their attitude. At a very young age, Wally found out that when people were informed they acted and approached Nicky differently with more respect, patience and kindness. He also noticed that after his first speech, a lot of children in our community were really nice to his brother.
This even led our six-year-old daughter Olivia to get involved by doing the same thing at her school to spread autism awareness. She is really shy, but she was so brave and did a great job, all because she adores her brother.