HENRICO, VA. (WRIC) — A 10-year-old Virginia boy is giving people a look at autism through his eyes.
“I want people to understand autism better,” Alex Bittner said.
Alex is a fifth grader at Echo Lake Elementary School, and just this week, he shared his story with classmates.
The real life lesson that Alex taught centered around was a two-minute animated video he created that gives a better understanding of how his brain works. It describes how Alex is more sensitive to sounds, temperatures and textures than most kids. The homemade movie also explains why Alex often paces in the classroom; it’s a behavior called stimming that helps him concentrate.
Alex hopes telling his story will help other children be more accepting and kind.
“I want them to know that different isn’t bad, it’s just different,” Bittner said.
Alex’s mom, Jennifer Bittner, is proud of her son’s decision to share what it’s like to live with autism and believes it encourages children to be more inclusive.
“Kids know when someone is different in some way,” she said. “But when you talk about it in a positive, accepting and empowering way, they also see we’re more alike than you think.”
Alex’s classmates say the video taught them a lot about their friend.
“He walked around the classroom and I always used to question why he used to,” Ruchir Apte said. “But he was actually just getting his nerves ready for thinking and being creative.”
Classmate Grace Hak added, “I learned that it’s good to be yourself and I think Alex did a good job of showing that.”
Alex may be just a kid, but grownups might want to embrace his message, too.
The video ends with these words: “I think the secret to a good life is you be you. Pick your path and accept others for the path which they choose. Be kind. That is my story.”