Sister Of Boy With Autism Makes Heartfelt And Informative Video For His First Grade Classmates

Big sister Elli Van Bree wanted to make sure that her little brother Willem started off the first grade the best way possible.

Willem Van Bree is on the autism spectrum, and his caring sister wanted to find a way to connect with his future classmates.

Tania Van Bree

So she made a heartfelt video that contained a message that aimed to spread as much awareness and information about the disorder as possible.

This year, Elli and Willem got to go to elementary school together for the first and last time. She created this video to help spread as much information as possible to the classmates that will be surrounding him for the next 4 years. Get a tissue. (This will be aired in the school announcements sometime soon. Here's a sneak peek.) *sound on [feel free to share]

Posted by Tania van Bree on Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Elm Grove Elementary School plans to air it during their school announcements, and mom Tania Van Bree shared it to Facebook as well.

“Willem was born with autism. Autism means different things for different people. For Willem, it means he cannot use words, instead he uses a tablet to talk…

He had words in his head like everyone else. His brain just doesn’t cooperate the way he wants.”


The loving sister detailed the everyday struggles and frustrations that her little brother faces—from sounding out words, hyperactivity, and sensitivity to sounds and lights, as well as adjusting to new places and people.

She shared what she loves most about her brother, “He is very silly and likes to laugh. He likes to read, cuddle, and loves hiking in nature… Overall he’s just a kid like you and me.”

Tania Van Bree

Elli Van Bree is entering the fifth grade herself, and will be attending the same school as her brother, where she can keep a protective eye over him.

In her video, she included four tips on how to befriend Willem. 

  1. Smile and say, “Hi!”
  2. Don’t be offended if he doesn’t want to play with you.
  3. Be patient! 
  4. Be kind!
Tania Van Bree

“I hope you learned about Willem now and I hope you love him as much as I do.”


Someone PLEASE nominate Van Bree for the title of “Sister of the year”!


Written by Abigale Racine