Being dropped off at school in the morning is less of a problem for 11 year old Jack Lebersfeld of West Boca now. Since Jack gave a speech to the entire sixth grade about his Asperger’s syndrome and explained what it means he has been regarded in much higher esteem.
Previously Jack was being “isolated and picked on,” in the words of his friend Spencer Kusel. Now he is somewhat of a celebrity among his classmates and their families. “People treat him differently now,” one admirer commented.
Initially Jack wasn’t very excited about giving a speech to his classmates but he warmed to the idea. “I wanted people to know who I was. I didn’t want people to think I was dumb,” he said.
Jack explained that people with Asperger’s can be impulsive, too literal or over-react. “My brain is not wired like yours..,” he said.
But Bill Gates and Albert Einstein have Asperger’s, too, so “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me,” he said. “I am in good company.”
“The reaction and caring from his classmates in the moment and after the fact were great,” said guidance counselor Liston.
Saint Andrew’s School parents posted on Facebook and emailed Jack’s parents thanking them for teaching their children a life’s lesson.
Now the school is using the video of Jack’s speech to urge other middle school students to act kinder and gentler.