Her mother didn’t understand why she was depressed. So she explained it the best way she knew how.

While it’s easy to understand why George loves tacos (who doesn’t?), some of the things George does are less so. That’s because when he was 2 years old, his parents discovered he had autism spectrum disorder.

George’s autism makes it difficult for his classmates at Douglas Elementary School to relate to him. So he used a classroom project to help them get to know him better.

George wrote, narrated, edited and produced a video called “My Autism” and even created an original score for the six-minute clip.

“Hello everyone. My name is George,” George began in a voiceover, as the words “George…and autism” flashed on the screen, then cut to a shot of George dancing.

“Let me tell you something about myself,” he continued. “I dance for fun, I love making music, I love drawing and making art, and…wait…I have something called autism.”

In the film, George shares some of his unique quirks that he knows his classmates have noticed but may not have the courage to ask about.

For example, he has difficulty making eye contact when people are talking to him, although he says he has gotten better at it. “I may not be watching, but that doesn’t mean I’m not listening,” he explained.

“Speaking of listening,” he continued. “I can hear and see many things and sounds at the same time, which sometimes makes it difficult for me to focus on any one sound or idea. This is why it may take more time to answer you when you ask a question.”

He also had difficulty with metaphors and rhetoric, which is common for children with autism, and advised his classmates to speak to him as directly and clearly as possible.

“If you say ‘sit down,’ you might find that there’s a chair missing in the classroom,” he joked.

George also spoke about some of the challenges he faces and hopes the video will help his friends understand why he sometimes gets angry, cries or yells.

Sometimes I get frustrated when I get interrupted or things don’t go as planned,” he admits. “Or when something unexpected happens. Or when I make a mistake.”

George took a brave peek behind the scenes and even included video of himself having a tantrum as a young man while reading, as well as audio of himself stammering and visibly frustrated while recording narration for the video. “But I messed up!” he cried.

“(Some of these) are just things that kids get frustrated with, and I’m a kid like you,” he said. “All of us kids are different in our own ways, right?”

Finally, George asked his classmates to come talk to him, ask him questions, or invite him to play, even though it looked like he might not want to.

“I like to have fun, just like you. So if you see me playing alone, it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t want to play with you, too,” he told them. “I’ve always wanted to play with you.”

His heart-warming honesty and larger-than-life on-screen personality are so compelling, it’s no wonder the video is such a hit. Soon after the video was posted on YouTube and Facebook, it received tens of thousands of views and hundreds of comments.

Initially, it was just for 21 of George’s elementary school classmates.

“The feedback we get is, ‘I showed this to my 6-year-old with autism, I showed this to my 12-year-old with autism,’ and they’re like, ‘Me too, and We can be friends!” his mother, Lisa Jolley, told Raleigh-Durham’s WTVD/ABC11.

In a world where autistic people often don’t get a chance to speak for themselves, this is really cool and It is so important that George took control of his life story and experiences and shared them in his own words. At just 9 years old, he’s already making huge strides in helping the world better understand a disease that affects about one in 68 children in the United States.

Watch the full video below and you might learn something new.

At the very least, you’ll fall in love with this charming and brave kid.

George’s journey with autism at the age of 9. Here’s a video he shared with his fourth grade class to help them understand why he behaves the way he does…


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