In our new segment called "Kids Who Care," we introduce you to a 12-year-old boy from Stevens Point. He has Aspergers Syndrome, but rather than hiding it, he says he's embracing it and trying to help others understand what the condition is.
Ask the average 7th grader his biggest problem, it will likely change every day.
But for Ben Walkush, a life changing condition is always on his mind. Ben was born with Aspergers Syndrome, otherwise known as high functioning Autism. He was diagnosed with it at about the age of 10. He says he's not shying away from his condition, in fact he wants to educate people about it.
"I did a PowerPoint that's on YouTube and it's about my view on Asperger Syndrome," said Ben.
He created a seven minute slide show, first presented to his peers about a year ago. Ben then put the video on YouTube in an effort to show the world through his eyes.
"So they treat us kids in a way that we don't get scared of our environment like school and activities," he said.
Ben is an active member in the community. He volunteers at the Portage County Library during summer programs and creates handmade pet toys for the Portage County Humane Society.
Ben's mother Sandi says Ben puts all his energy into helping the community but he still faces an uphill battle.
"Basically it just means he processes things a little differently than the typical child," said Ben's mother, Sandi Walkush.
"Sometimes I get frustrated with the rules of games," said Ben.
But Sandi says despite his symptoms he's just a 12-year-old looking to live his life.
"Kids with Aspergers, kids with Autism aren't strange, aren't geeky, they're just kids that want to be accepted," said Sandi.
Sandi says the community has learned to accept Ben's condition, and so has he.
"He created Autism awareness for others but he really created it for him so he took ownership of himself as he was able to help himself in a way to understand what he needed to do to be able to function in this world," said Sandi.
"I am going to be showing my community how I can be useful and I care about my community a lot," said Ben.
Overcoming his own challenge to inspire others to do the same. Ben Walkush, a kid who cares.
Ben says he plans to put together another powerpoint presenPowerPointn, to continue raising awareness about Aspergers Syndrome.