Posted by: Autism Speaks | March 26, 2010

Everybody Deserves a Friend

The following story was written and illustrated by Jacqueline Higby, age 7. She entered her story in Grove City College’s Creative Writing contest. She was selected from her grade based on content, creativity, organization and mechanics.

My brother is five years old. He has autism. His ears are sensitive. A good friend would speak softly and not yell.

Sometimes he screams and cries when he is upset. He can't help it. A good friend would give him some space and time to calm down.

My brother likes to watch things spin. He also likes to play just like you. He needs help learning to play with others. A good friend would teach him how to play.

We are all different and special. Everybody deserves a friend even if they have autism.

Angie Higby, mother of Jacqueline, is the team captain of the Pittsburgh Walk Now for Autism Speaks team; DJ’s Fans.  To learn more about the Walk, visit

To get the actual copy of the story submitted, click on Everybody Deserves a Friend.



  1. This touched my heart. So many adults in the world can’t wrap their heads around autism, but your daughter completely “gets” it. She reminds me of my 5 year old son. He might not be able to put it into words the way your daughter did, but he understands his 6 year old sister’s autism & her needs in a way few other people do. God bless these wonderful children who love their autistic siblings so unconditionally.

  2. this touched my heart so much i just about cried it sounds just like my son michael who is 6 he to has those same things and has a hard time finding friends as of right now his only friend and best is his little sister madelyn you can not serperate the two they love each so much.

  3. Hello. My daughter just attended the awards ceremony for her story and she not only won for her district, but she won as “overall winner”! I am so proud of her. She got to share her story with the audience.

  4. Amazing!
    words that no adult could better describe.
    This young girl really captured Autism.

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