5 Kids With Autism Who Inspire All of Us (VIDEO)

Inspiring 7

jason mcelwainWe honor all kids on the autism spectrum on Autism Awareness Day. I think parents of these children know that autism isn't necessarily a negative -- it can be a gift. But we thought we'd spotlight a few autistic kids we think are especially inspiring. Meet five kids (and their parents) who believe in themselves and are willing to share their gifts with the rest of the world.

1. Artist Johnny Reisel. Johnny has astonishing drawing skills, specializing in cityscapes and buildings. His dad says, "He can draw New York or Chicago. Today he was doing Venezuela and Colombia, and you know, it like transports him to places, and his experiences, these images, and he draws them. It's like he's feeling those things and can go to those places that, you know, physically would be very difficult for him to do." Johnny shares his artwork with family and friends.

2. Carly Fleischman, co-author. Carly's doctors told her parents she'd never progress beyond the intellectual level of a 6-year-old. She couldn't speak. But at the age of 11, she began communicating by computer, and from that point on, there was no stopping her. She and her father published a book about her story called Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism.

More from The Stir: Mom Owes It to Her Son to Tell the World He Has Autism

3. Jason McElwain, high school basketball manager. Jason took his passion for basketball to manage his school basketball team. But one day he actually entered the game. His first shot missed. But the next, and the next, and the next swished right into the basket. He scored 20 points from a long series of free-throws, making him the highest scoring player in the game, the first and only varsity game he ever played.

4. Christopher Duffley, singer. Follow the link to hear 10-year-old Christopher singing "Open the Eyes of My Heart." Now imagine being in his church congregation. He is also blind.

5. Eric Duquette, Salutatorian. When Eric was 5 years old, he couldn't speak, and his doctors told his parents he probably never would. Eric proved them wrong and graduated second from the top of his high school class. He delivered his high school graduation address. P.S.: he's also fluent in Spanish.

Do you have any inspiring stories about kids with autism to share?


Image via ABC News

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Irish... Irishlass77

Both videos are beautiful.  My 9 yr old was diagnosed to be on the spectrum when he was about 2 1/2.  He is incredible at building things- give hime Legos, Lincoln Logs, heck, once he used a big box of old VHS tapes and made a whole city on the coffe table!  The two young men featured are wonderful, I just want to hug them both!  I hope they are doing well.  bow down

Amanda Diane Matson

My son Kahler. He's not fluent in Spanish, he's not a basketball manager, and he can't sing let alone speak. But he is my son. He doesn't need to be spectacular at anything, because he is fine just the way he is. He is not an influential story nor is he a negative "what your child with autism could be like" story. He just is. And that is good enough for me.

nonmember avatar knox Daniel

Here is another inspiring story of a child on the Autistic spectrum called Joshua Beckford his story is featured on www.pandctimes.org/kids/81-kids-genius

Shaz Jam

Someone posted how awesome would it be to have a singer with Autism hit the top 10 or 20 in the charts. Well, there is one currently at number 60. With your help we can all make it happen, make a huge statement for Autism Awareness and what a time to do it!!!! Lets all copy and post this link and get this going!
New single by Autistic singer Scott James (xfactor) now on sale
http://itun.es/i6Jv7YJ #iTunes”

cdeca... cdecandia

Coincidentally- National Autism Network featured an article this week as well highlighting individuals with ASD who have excelled in sports- Can be found here - http://nationalautismnetwork.com/blog/1/entry-195-breaking-barriers-highlighting-athletic-achievements-of-individuals-with-autism/ -- Register for FREE to read this article and many others

Donna Jones-Years

Our 11 y.o. is on the spectrum and we think he is pretty special. He races a go kart. This is his second year racing. His older brother also races (and dad did at one time as well) Both of the boys have puzzle pieces on their race cars, and race to raise autism awareness. We even had an autism walk at the track, right on the track like they do in NASCAR at the Dover Speedway. We hope to have another walk this year. We have gotten lots of support from the track and the fans for this walk. Our race family at Limerock Speedway in Caledonia, NY, ROCKS!!

Christie Hale Jones

My 7 year old son that is on the spectrum has showed exceptional emotional gifts and understandings and loves to create and invent and has the mind of an engineer. he also has a strong intuitive side. On top of all those other great gifts he reminds me of Jim Carrey or some other famous comedian. He is so funny and loves to perform.

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