22-Year-Old Autistic English Tutor Has an Important Message for His Younger Self

Good Morning America

Every parent wants their child to be “normal.” They want 10 fingers and 10 toes. They want a healthy baby who will thrive and grow up to be a wonderful person. A diagnosis of anything other than “normal” can be concerning and stressful, but sometimes not being “normal” can turn out to be exceptional.

When Bronson Layton was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified, which is a type of autism. Layton’s parents didn’t tell him that he was autistic. They didn’t want him to think of himself as any different than his peers.

When he was 15 years old, Layton came across some paperwork that revealed to him that he had been diagnosed was autism. He talked to his parents about it. He was shocked at his diagnosis, but over time, he came to appreciate it.

At 22 years old, Layton wrote a letter to his younger self. The letter is basically an outline of some of the obstacles he encountered and overcame as a child. It also details how he not only survived school but thrived, even graduating as an honors student and class president.

Watch the video below to learn more about Layton’s life and the special message he has for other people who have been diagnosed with autism.

Viewers are applauding Layton’s letter to himself. He is inspiring other autistic people, and he is encouraging parents of autistic children.

One viewer who has autism wrote, “This is very inspirational. I have autism spectrum myself. And I couldn’t talk when I was a toddler. I had to start talking when I was 4 years old. I needed speech therapy and get the help I need. Now, I am a survivor and I’m still doing a great job.”

A mom of an autistic child wrote, “As a mom of an autistic child I’m trying so hard to do the right thing to help my son be happy and honor who he is. He has taught me so much. He’s a brilliant soul. Thanks for this video.”

Another parent is going to use Layton’s video to tell her own son that he too is autistic. “Thank you.. Branson.. I’m going to share with my son.. who also.. is. Autistic.. and doesn’t know yet.. for the same reason as your parents.”

Other viewers are pointing out that Layton’s success in school and in life has a lot to do with his parents. “This is what you get when you have exceptional parents. He’s more than an average benefit to society.”