My niece Eve is one of the brightest, most observant, and authentic kids I know. She's 4 years old, but will be turning 5 in a few weeks.
She has a beautiful soul and a very special bond with each one of my kids. She and Daniel get along really well and play together most of the time. Grace will mostly play by herself, but Eve will always invite her to play with them, and tries to play with Grace when she's alone.
Her relationship with Nicholas is very unique and genuine. Eve knows Nicholas has Autism. She doesn't fully understand what that means, but she is aware that Nicholas is non-verbal.
She knows Nicholas has a speech device to help him talk, although Eve thought that him pushing the buttons would help him speak verbally. While this is still very possible for Nicholas, right now his talker helps him express his wants and needs without the use of verbal words.
Her concern though was incredibly thoughtful. Her awareness and ability to link certain situations together is very impressive.
Eve likes to watch a short film on Disney Plus called Loop. Loop is about a girl who's non-verbal, and she goes to camp where she meets a boy. They ride in a canoe on a lake together and the boy realizes she doesn't talk, but that she's using her phone to communicate with him.
Eve made the connection that the girl in Loop is like Nicholas; they both don't talk and use a device to communicate. My sister-in-law told me that whenever Eve gets to choose a short film to watch, she always chooses Loop first.
Eve's inclusivity is very beautiful. She understands her cousins are different and wants to learn more all the time. I give a lot of credit to her parents. My sister-in-law teaches Eve about my kids and their differences. Eve asks a lot of questions and my sister-in-law educates her and talks with her about it.
When it was just Nicholas that was diagnosed with autism, after they talked about it, Eve said, "That's how God made him."
Eve is a very special and wise little girl with a huge heart. I can already see her in school sitting with the lonely kid at lunch, or standing up for the kid who's getting bullied. She's going to be the one who gets along with every person and includes everyone in everything.
On April 2 for World Autism Day, she wore an autism shirt to support her cousins. I believe she's not only going to be a great advocate for her cousins one day, but also for other people who are different from her.
She already is.
Kate lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. You can read her writing at her blog This Special Journey.