Nikki Reed Speaks Out About Autism & It’s Definitely Not The First Time She's Raised Awareness

Add this to your list of reasons to admire the Twilight actress. In an interview with People, Nikki Reed talked about her autistic brother and how she is working towards eliminating labels and stereotypes. As a spokesperson for the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction, which also benefits Autism Speaks, Reed opened up about the important cause and how her brother lives with autism daily. She said,

What is important is to treat everyone like an individual and learning not to generalize autism. With autism, people make assumptions but it's very broad and everyone's so different. You have to treat each person as an individual.

Reed revealed her brother "is so high functioning that in many cases, it's not even detectable." He was diagnosed around 2 years old, and, now, Reed said, "He's one of the most loving, honest, sensitive, and transparent kids I've ever known. And he's insanely smart. With a really remarkable memory."

It isn't just Reed who wants to raise awareness, but so does her brother. "He wants people to understand he's his own person," the actress said. "He doesn't want a label. And one way of avoiding a label is to spread awareness."

If you didn't find Reed an inspiration before through all of her work with the environment and animals, then there's no doubt you do now. She presents and discusses autism in a beautiful, positive, and inspiring way, which will surely benefit anyone also dealing with autism.

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In addition to letting others hear her voice, Reed is also raising autism awareness through the short film, Think Normal , which is available to view online. As the film's producer and director, she helps tell the story of Jason McElwain, an upstate New York basketball player who also has autism. What makes him so special is that in 2006 McElwain scored 20 points in the final minutes of his high school basketball game and became famous.

In an interview with ESPN, Reed said the journey of making the short film was "selfish" for her, because she was doing it for personal reasons. With that said, Reed also did it as a way to raise awareness, inspires those dealing with autism (like her brother), and help others find a connection to a story that they can relate to.

We all know Reed is used to being the actress in a film, but this isn't the first time Reed she took a role behind the camera. She was the executive producer for Last Day of Summer and even wrote Thirteen, which starred herself, Evan Rachel Wood, and Holly Hunter. This all goes to show you that Reed is an inspiration behind and in front of the camera, not to mention when she's supporting worthy causes.

As for Reed's brother, he's doing great now and seems to be inspiring Reed and her family. She said,

He has discovered running and is running about 12 miles a day. My little brother is outrunning all of us, which is the coolest thing ever. We're super proud of him for figuring out what he loves. I'm so excited he's got something that makes him feel strong and confident. It's really cool to watch.

The Reed family sounds pretty spectacular, right?

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