George Yionoulis, 9, from North Carolina, is your average kid. He loves Harry Potter, Minecraft, dancing, music and tacos. But there is something different about George: He's an Internet sensation. He has also been diagnosed with autism.
George prepared a video for his classmates in fourth grade (equivalent to UK Year 5) to explain himself.
It was meant to help them understand him better. His mother, Lisa, shared the video online to spread her son's message on 27 November. It has now been watched almost 22,000 times on Youtube and shared multiple times on Facebook.
George – also known as DJ GeoYio – didn't speak until the age of 3. But that doesn't stop him from being talkative now. In the video, he lets us know a little bit about himself.
"I have fun dancing, I have fun making music, I love to draw and make art and... wait for it... I have this thing called autism!"
The video is funny and touching and gives us a glimpse at what it's like to be in George's head as he goes about his everyday life.
"Most of the times, I can make eye contact with you when you speak to me, it wasn't always the case. But just because I wasn't looking, it doesn't mean I wasn't listening."
The 9 year old "rockstar" also explains how his senses work: He can hear almost everything buzzing, tooting, chiming, speaking and his own thoughts at the same time, which makes it difficult for him to "focus on just one thing". But he also has trick to help him focus, like chewing gum.
George's olfactive sense is extremely well developed as well. He can also smell yogurt from the other side of a room, which is unfortunate, since George despises yogurt – but he lets us know the yogurt thing has nothing to do with being autistic.
But George steers clear from generalisations, and he explains that, for instance, while he like to touch as many things as possible, other children with autism won't enjoy it as much.
The video is intended to show how autism affects his communication with the outside world. On several instances, he explains that he tends to take what people say to him literally, which leads him to jumping to conclusions.
"If you say "take a seat," you might find one less chair in your classroom. If you say "it's raining cats and dogs", I might think "ouuuh, I'm getting a puppy!"
George explains this to make sure his classmates understand how important it is to be very specific when talking to him to avoid misunderstanding.
The taco enthusiast also explains he might react to things differently than other people whether being happy or getting frustrated. He actually gets frustrated during the video and starts withdrawing, but manages to calm down thanks to the support of his father.
In the end, it boils down to this: "I'm a kid just like you," George say, before assuring his classmates he wants to play with them and likes "the same stuff" they like. He then invites them to come ask him about his autism if they want to.