Home > In Their Own Words > In Their Own Words – A Priceless Souvenir

In Their Own Words – A Priceless Souvenir

This “In Their Own Words” essay is written by Andrew Hain a young adult who has autism.

My name is Andrew Hain. I am 17 years old and I have autism. I live in Glendale, Calif. and currently attend Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta where I will be a senior this fall. My favorite subjects in school are math and Spanish. I like going to school because it is fun and you learn new things every day.

This summer, I am continuing to volunteer at College View School, which I started last summer. College View is the special education school where disabled kids go to learn.

I am helping out by playing with the kids and assisting them around the school. I like volunteering because the teachers are very nice and the students are fun to hang out with. Volunteering is important because it helps a lot of people with special needs.

Some of my hobbies include watching game shows and Disney stuff, browsing the Internet, playing basketball, and eating. Another hobby of mine is meeting celebrities because I like them for what they do in their careers.

Some of the great celebrities I met in my life are the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, and now, here is some wonderful news about a non-Disney star I met but probably one of the bigger ones in that category.

On July 24, my parents and I volunteered at the HollyRod Foundation DesignCare benefit at the Green Acres estate in Beverly Hills. The HollyRod Foundation was founded by actress Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL player Rodney Peete. They have a son RJ with autism. The foundation raises money for autism as well as Parkinson’s disease. We were there to support Holly and Rodney because they do so much for Autism Speaks and families with autism.

There were a lot of stars at this event raising money and some were being honored for their hard work. I met one of those honorees, Donald Trump, thanks to a woman named Pam. Now that is something very exciting for a young man with autism. Mr. Trump was very personable with me. I was even lucky enough to take a picture with him thanks to Holly’s godmother, Faith!

Also that night, although I didn’t take any pictures with them, I met Robin Thicke who was the musical performer at the event, and his dad, Alan Thicke. But the highlight was meeting The Donald.

“In Their Own Words” is a series within the Autism Speaks blog which shares the voices of people who have autism, as well as their loved ones. If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.


  1. Dawn Sorenson
    August 11, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Nicely done, Andrew! You sound like a very interesting young man. Oh, did you happen to notice that you are almost as tall as The Donald?

  2. Neece B
    August 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time and for a great cause! Well done. :)

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