“That’s it. I’m not going back there again,” Nathan, 14, stood in the middle of the room and kicked his school bag angrily. “I’m tired of being afraid. I would rather grow old in my room than go to school or out on the street, to see people and to feel fear every second.” Nathan slammed the door.
It seemed like it was so long ago already: the tears of his mother, her son’s gloomy silence, visits to doctors and diagnoses, one worse than the other – “anxiety”, “autism spectrum disorder”, “depression”… School was abandoned forever, and the future looked grey and dull. Who needs a future like this?
There was only one thing that kept his soul alight. Nathan was a fan of meteorology. “Yes, it’s hard for me to be with people, I’m afraid to talk to strangers, but none of it matters when you witness the birth of a storm!”
As a child, he admired the forces of nature, tried to understand how storms and hurricanes arose, and tried to predict where the forces of nature would descend upon.
School was replaced by a home meteorological station, which Nathan himself had organized in his room. He could sit for hours in front of a monitor, watch how cyclones formed in the Earth’s atmosphere, assess their power, and monitor their movement.
In 2012, our hero came up with the idea of channeling his hobby in a useful direction. Nathan decided to create a website to warn people about impending storms. It would be nothing special, a few audio recordings with the voice of a young man talking about the weather. The result, however, was unexpected.
The autistic boy’s project gained an increasing audience every day. Volunteers from around the world appeared to help him gather and distribute information about impending storms and hurricanes.
In the beginning of 2019, South East Africa, Mozambique, Nathan’s voice on air sounded disturbing. A huge cyclone was approaching the coastline and there was very little left until the storm hit, but the situation was even more difficult because many people in this country had no radio or TV. They continued to go along their business not knowing that a storm was coming.
Nathan’s message had been heard by the rescue and humanitarian services. Evacuation had begun in time. Thousands of lives had been saved by the voice of an autistic young man who had once been afraid of people and today, had helped them see danger and avoid it.
The decision to create his own channel on YouTube was Nathan’s next bold step. No, he was sure of his knowledge, but to speak in front of the camera… “I have always been too scared to talk to people. You just look at my first videos and you will see that there is a huge difference! I’m getting better and better every day. Now I’m confident enough to stand in front of a camera and warn people about coming storms.”
Today Nathan has an autism diagnosis, his own website, a YouTube channel, an international team, and a desire to be familiar with the elements. The most important thing is that he’s happy.
The moral is that no special features should influence your desires and your right to do interesting things and live a cool life. Don’t let that be taken away from you.