What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

HOMEGROWN HEROES: THE HEART OF AN ADVOCATE

     Home  >  Articles  > Advice & News
by Joshelle Wright

Related: autism button, autism awareness products, autism advocacy apparel, products that benefit autism speaks,


Westchester County teen Nick Lombardi has spent the past eight years advocating for autism awareness, his efforts reaching local and national families alike and benefiting Autism Speaks. And it all started with a trip to the mall.



Nick and Joey LombardiIn real life, heroes don’t wear capes or fly, they simply see a person in need of help and lend a hand. That’s exactly what Nick Lombardi of Ardsley did. At the age of 9, Nick saw others discriminating against his younger brother Joey, who has autism, because they didn’t understand his behavior, and he found a solution that ultimately helped not only his family, but families across the country who are affected by the disorder.

Nick remembers one particular shopping trip with his brother and mother Phyllis Lombardi that sparked his passion for autism advocacy. As they were walking through the mall, Joey started making funny noises, taking off his shoes, and running around. “People were looking at him like he was just some brat not listening to his mom,” Nick recalls. “As the people stared, I found myself very angry. Not at him, not really at them, but maybe at autism.” It was in that moment that Nick turned to his mom, saying, “Ma, I really wish there was a button that said ‘I’m not misbehaving, I have autism, please be understanding.’ It would be a voice for Joey.”

I'm not misbehaving, I have autism. Please be understandingRealizing that no such badge existed, Nick created one, teaming up with Autism Speaks to help raise awareness for the disorder. Now 17, Nick has expanded his line to include T-shirts and reusable patches and has donated more than $60,000 of his sales to autism research. “Wearing the button helps,” Nick says. “The button gets the word ‘autism’ [out there] and spreads understanding to other children.”

Nick, a junior at Ardsley High School, is also a co-host of "Siblinghood," a series of seven-minute shows aired on FamilyNetworkTV.com that allow siblings of those with disabilities an opportunity to express themselves. Nick says he loves volunteering with kids and wants to become a speech pathologist.

For more information on Nick and his products, visit autismbutton.com.

 


Did you find this helpful?

Get more useful parenting info weekly
Sign-up for newsletter


More Advice & News Articles

Resale Boutique for American Girl Dolls Supports Women with Autism
Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs in Westchester
Children Develop Social Skills with Group Activities
Heeling Autism Guide Dogs Help Kids With Autism In Westchester
Special Needs Caregiver Course in Westchester

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Advice & News Sponsors


Pediatric Associates of Southern Westchester, PC
145 Huguenot St., Suite 200
New Rochelle, NY
914-235-1400
At Pediatric Associates of Southern Westchester, w...

New Rochelle Racquet Club
130 Rhodes St.
New Rochelle, NY
914-636-1003
At the New Rochelle Racquet Club, we challenge you...

Dave's Cast Of Characters
914-235-7100
Make your party a special one! Dave's entertainmen...
Sociable KidzĀ®
1600 Harrison Ave., Suite 105
Mamaroneck , NY
914-502-3295
...

Play Group Theatre (The)
One N. Broadway
White Plains, NY
914-946-4433
The Play Group TheatreĀ® (PGT) is Westchester's the...
See Our Advice & News Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE