This 9-year-old boy made an amazing video describing his daily struggle with autism
George Yionoulis is your ordinary 4th-grader from North Carolina. And like many kids his age, he is a big fan of having fun, whether it is drawing, playing video games, making music or dancing.
The only difference between George and other kids is that he has autism. This makes George struggle with certains things everyday that other kids don’t go through, such as remaining calm after making a mistake and making eye contact with people. The way he expresses his emotions is also different.
In the video, George explains, “I’m extremely enthusiastic about a lot of different things.” He continues, “I flap my hands, or bounce up and down, or chew things, and bite on my homework.”
George’s fourth-grade teacher told his parents that he should create a video explaining his autism to his classmates
After hearing the proposal, Lisa, George’s mother, said, “Oooooh, a video.” This is because she knew that if there was something George loved making was videos. So, as you can imagine, this proposal was not that hard to accept by the family. That is how the video titled “My Autism” was born! Gorge and his parents worked on it for a month with the intention of explaining his experiences to his fellow fourth-graders.
The video turned out better than expected and captured the essence of what it is like to live with the disorder
The video is narrated by George while music plays in the background – music that was created by George himself – as he talks about his autism with humour and charm.
He explains how he has problems with ordinary activities, such as filtering out sensory input that is irrelevant (like distracting lights and background noises) and making eye contact with people. He also describes how he chews gum and listens to music to keep himself from getting overwhelmed by his autism.
George went on to address some of the quirks of his behaviour
As George explains to his classmates in the video, “If you ever see me playing by myself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t want to play with you, too.” He continues, “Like a lot of other kids with autism, I may not have been looking [at you] but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening!”
After the video was shown to his class, it was later uploaded on YouTube – and it went viral!
The video has now been watched by over 180,000 people. This touching project has been lauded by the general public, as well as news outlets and autism advocacy groups, as providing useful insights into what it is like to struggle with autism on a daily basis. According to Lisa, most of the reactions to the video have been positive.
The comments section of the YouTube video was also filled with lots of praise
A quick look at the comments section on George’s YouTube will show that the positive response has indeed been overwhelming. One of the top comments says, “George [this] is so great! I have a 9-year-old son with autism as well. He is nonverbal.”
Another top comment made by a nurse says, “That was more informative than anything I’ve ever learned about autism. Thank you! Keep up the good work and stay tough, kiddo!”
George tells his viewers that they can ask him anything about his experience with autism
George then reminds his audience, “Don’t be afraid to come ask me about [autism].” He doesn’t seem to mind. Knowing that people might be reluctant or think it might be insensitive, he continues, “No, seriously – it’s okay. Just ask me about it.”