WORKING REALLY HARD! I PROMISE…
Please join us on our NEW and IMPROVED website www.specialneedssiblings.com !! We have transitioned and hope you can come too!! We miss you but we are back!! Thank you for giving me the support and encouragement to continue! We are a strong community and I pray we continue to grow and improve.
I am Shalyn Reynolds. I’m 19, from Michigan and my brother is Quentin Reynolds.
SNS: What does ‘Special Needs Siblings’ mean to you?
Shalyn: The phrase special needs siblings mean to me that you’re a brother/sister to somebody who’s not quite like you, but they deserve the same love and attention a normal child gets. You just have to understand their different likes and dislikes.
SNS: What are some ups and downs to being a SNS?
Shalyn: Some ups of being a Special Needs Sibling you get to have a challenge with dealing with them, learning different things about their disability, being a role model to them. Some downs of being a Special Needs Sibling having to worry about them not fitting it with other kids, them not getting the same attention as the normal kids.
SNS: Do you have a favorite memory with you and your brother?
Shalyn: My favorite memory with my brother was going to Chicago for a skateboard championship and he got to meet all of his favorite skateboarders, he’s really into skateboarding. Just seeing how happy he was made me happy and excited he got to be there.
SNS: What’s your dream?
Shalyn:I’m majoring in special education, my dream is to open up a facility for kids with special needs so they can interact with other kids with special needs, they’ll be able to feel comfortable, do different activities just something fun for them.
SNS: Is there anything you enjoy because of your brother?
Shalyn: My brother is big on skateboarding I never once liked skateboarding until he started to like it he’s always outside riding his skateboard I get on it sometimes just to make him happy. If he’s not outside skateboarding he’s in the house watching it.
A deep thank you to Miss Southeast International, Ciara Hibdon, of Fayetteville Arkansas. She is the older sister of Steele and we honor her for being such an amazing big sister!! We love you, SNS
Steele and I have had quite the extraordinary life. Being exactly two years and two days apart we share a close bond and have shared countless birthday parties.
At the age of three, Steele was diagnosed with autism. I was five at the time. I remember hearing the word autism for the first time and thinking, “but there’s nothing wrong with him”. Since that day it has been my mission to be his advocate and a Hero for Autism. Through our brother sister bond I have learned compassion, patience and most importantly hard work.
We were told Steele would never graduate high school, this fall he will be attending the University of Arkansas studying journalism in the honors program. None of this would have been possible without his Heroes for Autism.
As Miss Southeast International I am spreading the message of autism acceptance through my platform Heroes for Autism, we often hear of autism awareness but not acceptance. My job, to educate and encourage others to reach out and befriend those who minds work a little differently and help create a world that is more sensory friendly for these people.
I am working with Walmart Corporate on enhancing the shopping experience for those who have autism and other special needs by offering quiet hours and assistance shopping and checking out. It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.
Steele has gone to infinity and beyond to be where he is today and I am so proud of the young man he has become. He inspires me each and every day and makes me strive to be a better person. He truly is a Hero for Autism.