Before I start, I’d like to introduce myself.
Hi! My name is Nicole Canete, 19 years old, from Long Beach, California.
A little about me (trust me this is actually important):
1, Only child
2. Chick-fil-A is life
3. Music is life
4. I like being organized
5. I love helping people
The reason I am telling you this is because four years ago, a little boy was put into my life. He was 6 years old then and the cutest kid ever. I now had a little brother! He was everything I expected when one would say “little brother”. He ran around the house, screamed a lot, annoyed me, and would only eat a certain food group (McDonald’s). Except there was one thing about him that I did not know how to handle. This little boy was on the spectrum for Autism. Many of you may not know what that means, I didn’t even know! In an article on WebMD, the Autism Spectrum Disorder is a broad range of disorders that can impair the ability to communicate/interact. I was very confused when I saw that because my little brother did NOT need help communicating and interacting because he was the most talkative and friendly kid I have ever met. All my friends would say so too!
Here is what I actually observed my first few months with him:
1. I wasn’t an only child anymore
2. He HATED Chick-fil-A
3. He HATED music (Different sounds would cause him to throw a tantrum)
4. He wasn’t organized (He’s a child, I KNOW)
5. He loved helping people (YAAAAAAY)
Despite the differences, I saw that slowly introducing him to what I liked instead of forcing them onto him, really changed him as a person. We would now always go to Chick-fil-A, he would try to play an instrument every now and then because my friends were always around making music with me, he cleaned up after playing with his toys, and he always asked if I needed help with anything and everything (he usually did anyway). My point is, I love this little ball of happiness. It takes understanding and patience. I could honestly say I’ve learn a lot from this kid. I’ve learned to love life, pursue what I’m passionate about (he is passionate about watching every episode of Spongebob a hundred times), and to not be afraid to try new things. Being in the Autism Spectrum did not stop this young boy from loving, being passionate, and fearless so why should it stop you? They are not different from any of us.
This Week’s Challenge
So I challenge you. This week, think of a person that has been put into your life out of nowhere. And do something you love, something you’re passionate about, or something you have always been afraid to do. Take a picture! Use the hashtags #OperationBeautifulNation #NicolesChallenge Tag me (and follow me) @niiiicolegrace on Instagram or Twitter!
I’ll be back to tell you more!! xx
About The Author:
Nicole Canete is a college student studying Computer Science and Business. She is a Software Developer in Long Beach, California. Nicole is passionate about music, Chic-fil-A and helping others. She recently started a YouTube channel so she can use it as a creative outlet to share her talents.