Autistic Boy Helps Other Children With Special-Needs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Autistic Boy Helps Other Children With Special-Needs

YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima Memorial Hospital's Children's Village is honoring one of its favorite patients, a 12 year-old autistic boy named Erik Halvorson.  He's been working feverishly to raise money for special-needs children.

Erik is a kid with a lot of beads, and a lot of heart.  He's been beading, then selling, lanyards and bracelets for two years now.  But he's not a little entrepreneur, all of the money he raises buys presents for patients at Children's Village.  "It's another way to let them know how much we care about them." he says.

Erik takes special orders, and has a basket sitting around so staff can buy the jewelry.  This year, Erik earned more than $500, so children with special needs, just like him, will have a merry Christmas.  "It's so I'll be happy too, because nobody likes to be sad." he says.

His parents pitched in too, and helped him buy about a $1,000 worth of toys.  Erik is well-known around Children's Village.  He's been receiving treatment for his autism since he was four years old.  His mom says the beading seems to be therapeutic for him, but he says it's helping others that really makes him happy.

"We always have to think of other people in case they have special needs, then they'll be able to succeed in life." Erik says.  During KNDO's live coverage of the Yakima Christmas tree lighting on December 3rd, we'll have Erik flip the big switch.