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Keira Meikus Gives Speech About Autism on School's Morning Annoucements

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Last week, Keira Meikus, a 9-year-old at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Homewood, Alabama, used her school’s morning announcements to make a powerful statement about autism for Autism Awareness Month.

“I can’t speak for everyone who has autism,” she says in her speech (below), but I’m sure most want what every typical person wants — to be accepted and to belong.”

Her full speech reads:

Good morning fellow OLS students! April is Autism Awareness Month, and I was asked if I wanted to talk about it. I do want to talk about autism acceptance.

A person who has autism has a brain that works differently than a typical brain. Neither is better — they are just different. There is a spectrum, like a number line. One person with autism may be like a 1 on the spectrum so you only notice a little difference, but someone else may be a 10 with lots of differences.

Some people with autism have brains that work so hard and see and process so much so fast that they cannot even walk or talk because their brains are holding onto so much other information.

I have autism. I am like you. I go to school, I take tests, I watch TV, I like music and playing with my friends. I am also different than you. Some noises hurt me, I flap my hands when I get excited or overwhelmed. I don’t always make eye contact when I should, and I don’t always know when someone is being serious or joking.

I can’t speak for everyone who has autism, but I’m sure that most want what every typical person wants — to be accepted and to belong. Autism is just part of who we are.

“We are incredibly proud,” her mom Sarah Charles told ABC News. “We knew she was made to shine and she’s shining at 9.”

Earlier this week, a 10-year-old made headlines when his mom shared a poem he’d written about being on the autism spectrum. More than 10 thousand people shared the original copy of his poem, “I Am,” where he talks about wanting to fit in while accepting his differences.

Originally published: April 15, 2016
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