Brooklyn family raises autism awareness

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BRIGHTON BEACH -

A Brooklyn family is on a mission to show children with autism that it's OK to be different.

Nicholas Sirota is an athletic 14-year-old who recently scored a spot at a top high school. But it wasn't always this way. He says he struggled as a child after being diagnosed with autism.

"I didn't really know how to interact with other kids...but with support from everyone that I know and everyone that I love, I have overcome all that," he says.

Sirota credits his growth to his loving family and a series of educational support programs. He and his mother are now teaming up with his former preschool, Steps to Success, to help other kids with autism get the same opportunities. They plan to accomplish that by raising funds for the nonprofit Autism Speaks.

Sirota's mother will run a marathon this fall, hoping the donations to her cause can help fund brighter futures.

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