Vet Voices

Digital Exclusive: Hunter Burkey gives inspirational speech about living with autism

Digital Exclusive

Hunter Burkey is a student at Wheeling Country Day School. During his virtual graduation ceremony, he prepared a speech that inspired and educated his fellow classmates and community about his every day life with autism.

Hunter was diagnosed when he was in second grade, he is now 10 and on his way to sixth grade with a little advice for anyone younger than him who may also live with autism.

Hunter’s mom Ashlee says a friend of hers, who’s son is also autistic but is nonverbal, reached out and expressed how much Hunter’s words meant to them, along with many of Hunter’s classmates.

Hunter didn’t always feel that way about having autism, in fact he was worried he would be picked on for being different.

Luckily that wasn’t the case but he does understand kids do get picked on for being “different” and for that, he has compassionate advice for anyone unfamiliar with the disorder.

Hunter loves Legos and building things and playing video games. He also plays the piano and recently got out of his comfort zone to perform at the talent show.

Hunter takes on these hobbies and conquers his fears all by himself but his parents have been there for support from the start. Something Hunter’s mom encourages every parent in the same situation to do.

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