One fifth-grade sister decided to send her little brother off to first grade with the most special gift: A heartfelt message to his classmates educating them about his autism.
Elli Van Bree got to enjoy one year in elementary school with her little brother, Willem, before she moved on to her new school. But before she left, she wanted to leave Willem’s classmates with a video for Autism Awareness month, educating them about autism, like her little brother has.
Elli got to work creating the video, 2-minute video that covered topics about autism and about her brother. Her goal was to introduce Willem’s classmates to him in a way they might understand him better, while also educating everyone on autism and the different ways it can look.
Elli’s mom, Tania Van Bree, shared the video on Facebook, explaining, “This year, Elli and Willem got to go to elementary school together for the first and last time. She created this video to help spread as much information as possible to the classmates that will be surrounding him for the next 4 years. Get a tissue. (This will be aired in the school announcements sometime soon. Here’s a sneak peek.) *sound on [feel free to share].”
In the video, Elli explains that her little brother, Willem, was born with autism. She goes on to say:
“Autism means different things for different people. For Willem, it means he cannot use words, instead, he uses a tablet to talk…
He had words in his head like everyone else. His brain just doesn’t cooperate the way he wants.”
She continued to describe her brother, like the way he “flaps his wings” and gets so excited, and the way he struggles with new places and people.
She said, “He is very silly and likes to laugh. He likes to read, cuddle, and loves hiking in nature… Overall he’s just a kid like you and me.”
Elli ended her video with four tips on how to interact with Willem. Her first tip was to smile and say, “Hi!” Her second tip was to be understanding if he doesn’t want to play. Her third tip was to be patient. Her fourth and final tip was to be kind.
She said, “I hope you learned about Willem now and I hope you love him as much as I do.”
Watch the touching video below:
Everyone could use a sister like Elli!Whizzco