Sometimes Madison Roberson has to explain her younger brother’s behavior to her friends.
Justin Grider is in second grade and has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and though he is an outstanding student academically, his social skills often are lacking, which is typical of autism. Autistic kids don’t always understand when someone is kidding or that they should respect personal space.
“I know my brother doesn’t have a lot of friends because people think he’s not nice,” said the fourth-grader at Hope Academy. “I had this friend, and I just told her that he’s the same as any of us, so just treat him nice. If she has a question, she just asks me, and she understands it better now.”