Just Like Any Other Kid By Joseph Knepper (Age 12)

Hello my name is Joseph. I am 12 years old and love soccer, drums, basketball, boogie boarding, and Star Wars. However this isn’t about me, it’s about my 9-year-old brother, Nicholas. My brother is just like any other kid. He has friends, loves playing, is friendly, and is a normal kid, except he has autism.

Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Nicholas goes to classes every week to help him learn. He also has an aid at school that helps him. Nicholas is learning to read and write, goes to a typical classroom his age grade level, and is very social with others. My brother is lucky, however not everyone is. We were afraid that this would greatly impact him. We were afraid he would have very tough time learning. We were afraid he would be teased and disliked by his fellow piers.

However, Nicholas is doing so well and I’m so proud of him. He is loved by his classmates and friends. In fact, they help him. Having autism is what makes my brother different from many other kids out there. However, some kids with autism have a very tough time in school and learning. Some kids can’t communicate and are laughed at, teased, and ignored. Some kids are afraid being teased that have autism. They’re afraid of admitting it or having other people know.

If you have a difference, like my brother has autism, just flaunt it.

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