A deep thank you to Miss Southeast International, Ciara Hibdon, of Fayetteville Arkansas. She is the older sister of Steele and we honor her for being such an amazing big sister!! We love you, SNS
Steele and I have had quite the extraordinary life. Being exactly two years and two days apart we share a close bond and have shared countless birthday parties.
At the age of three, Steele was diagnosed with autism. I was five at the time. I remember hearing the word autism for the first time and thinking, “but there’s nothing wrong with him”. Since that day it has been my mission to be his advocate and a Hero for Autism. Through our brother sister bond I have learned compassion, patience and most importantly hard work.
We were told Steele would never graduate high school, this fall he will be attending the University of Arkansas studying journalism in the honors program. None of this would have been possible without his Heroes for Autism.
As Miss Southeast International I am spreading the message of autism acceptance through my platform Heroes for Autism, we often hear of autism awareness but not acceptance. My job, to educate and encourage others to reach out and befriend those who minds work a little differently and help create a world that is more sensory friendly for these people.
I am working with Walmart Corporate on enhancing the shopping experience for those who have autism and other special needs by offering quiet hours and assistance shopping and checking out. It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.
Steele has gone to infinity and beyond to be where he is today and I am so proud of the young man he has become. He inspires me each and every day and makes me strive to be a better person. He truly is a Hero for Autism.