How a Brooklyn Family is Raising Autism Awareness

After being diagnosed with autism, Brighton Beach resident Nicolas Sirota, now 14, struggled. But through support from his family and a series of educational programs, Nicholas found success. He is now an athletic teenager attending a top high school.

“I didn’t really know how to interact with other kids, but with support from everyone that I know and everyone that I love, I have overcome all that,” Nicholas told News 12.

In an effort to help other children with autism find the same success he has, Nicholas and his family are teaming up with his former preschool Steps to Success. Through fundraising efforts for the nonprofit Autism Speaks, the Sirota family and the school hope to help other kids get access to the same opportunities Nicholas had.

As part of the fundraising effort, Nicholas’ mother Tatyana Sirota will run the 2018 NYC marathon this fall.

“It has been a long and difficult journey, but with help from various services, such as Early Intervention and Nest as well as many dedicated professionals, Nick has evolved into a young man who has acquired numerous coping skills to overcome many challenges and obstacles and who is on the way to becoming a fully integrated and successful member of society,” Tatyana wrote on her fundraising page. “There are many other children like Nick who need the help and the resources just like he needed some years ago.”

To date, Tatyana has raised $8,495—283 percent more than her initial fundraising goal of $3,000.

Image: Screenshot of video: Nicholas and his mother are teaming up with his preschool Steps to Success to raise money and awareness.