A young boy of color smiles, seated at a table with a birthday cake in front of him.

Meet Yusuf, A 10-Year-Old With Autism and Big Dreams!

A young boy of color smiles, seated at a table with a birthday cake in front of him.

My name is Yusuf and I’m 10 years old. I am in 5th grade. I like to play hockey, write blogs, and make videos for fun. I am hoping to create a YouTube channel soon. I like school so far and one of my favorite subjects is math.

Something I am proud of is playing hockey and doing stuff above grade level. I can also play soccer really well—I really like sports. I want people to know that I’m actually very smart. I’m learning eighth-grade things.

But when I was young, there was this one kid that kept making fun of how I speak, and I was only in second grade. I thought if I could just be nice, everything will work out, and I didn’t know how to defend myself. Eventually, he stopped bullying me and I learned how to be nice, but to be yourself and don’t let people take advantage of you.

One of the things I like to do is play with my friends during recess. We play freeze tag, tag, and kickball—and ultimate frisbee. My best friends are Whitman and James. I like to play games with them, and we make up missions to solve a puzzle.

One of the best things that happened to me was when I got my iPad Pro. On my iPad I make music and videos, and draw!

When I grow up, one of the things I want to do is play hockey and be on a team.

When I am older, I will also get my own house and after that, try to take care of the bills. I think I will know how to take care of the house and my money and use it responsibly and have a good life. I have never been on a plane, and I would like to go to Nigeria someday and see my family.

I would help change the world by being nice. People are always mean and if I taught people how to be nice and why, and all the advantages of being nice and the skills I have…people would be kinder.