A 4th-grader explains to class what having autism is like. The teacher was stunned by their reaction.

When 4th grader Rumari asked his teacher if he could address the class, she had no idea what was about to occur.

Lisa Moe wasn't sure what to expect when one of her 4th graders raised his hand and asked to address the class.

Rumari has autism, and he decided he wanted to share with his classmates what that means for him. He got up in front of the class and talked about how it's important to make kids with autism "feel like a somebody." He pointed out that kids might think he was weird sometimes for the way he talks or for some of the "stimming" behaviors he exhibits. He gave an example of how he sometimes hits his open palm with his opposite fist, and suggested that other kids might want to do it to make themselves feel better.


Ms. Moe started filming when she realized something beautiful was happening in her classroom.

The class clapped for Rumari, and then kids started raising their hands.

Rumari got excited when students raised their hands, thinking they were going to ask him some questions. But what they did was shower him with praise and positive reinforcement.

One girl asked if she could give Rumari a hug.

Another said, "I think it doesn't matter what a person does or if it may look weird, or if they might make weird noises sometimes. That's okay! It's them. And it doesn't matter. They're good just the way they are, like you, Rumari."

Another student told him that she doesn't think it's weird when he does what he does. She thinks it's cool. Other students agreed.

"I think you're amazing, pal!" another student exclaimed.

More hugs and words of support followed, and to see this group of kids offering so much love and inclusion is so heart-warming. You just have to watch:

Awesome student opens up to classmates about autism – and their reactions are amazing

This 4th grader raised his hand and asked if he could speak to his class – then, he opened up about having autism. His classmates listened quietly as he spoke, and when he was done, they had an amazing reaction ❤️️ https://cbsn.ws/2UWvnfb

Posted by CBS News on Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Rumari's teacher was impressed by Rumari's courage and her other students' reactions to him.

"Rumari has faced challenges and barriers beyond what any of us will ever be able to fully understand," Ms. Moe wrote on Instagram. "But today, Rumari stood in front of the classroom with full confidence, enthusiasm, and courage and showed us that there is no challenge or barrier that can stop him. He brought to life the meaning of 'Yes I Can' as he explained to his fellow classmates that he was autistic. With full knowledge, he explained the differences that may come when being autistic and how the spectrum is vast. He courageously spoke about his own differences and quirks, while defining what it means to make everyone feel like a someone. "

"Without any of the students knowing," she continued, "I hit record and captured the final moments of Rumari speaking to us and the raw, authentic reactions of the rest of my students. It is then, that I lost my ability to hold back the tears. It is then, that the daily lessons to 'Be Kind' and to remember 'Yes I Can' were brought together."

Beautiful job, Miss Moe. May all classrooms be as inclusive and encouraging as yours.

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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