Amira loves animals – even the “gross and scary” ones, she says.
When she’s not studying living creatures, this nature-loving 11 year old spends her time rock climbing with her dad, playing games with her cousins and listening to music.
And while her dream is to have a big, cuddly dog when she’s older, it’s clear that being a leader is in Amira’s future, too.
As a kid captain for Capes for Kids in 2022, Amira helped pave the way for building a more accessible and inclusive world for kids and youth with disabilities.
“It was really fun. I really liked being a captain – the thought of seeing me being captain of all of these amazing teams,” Amira says.
Now, Amira is sporting a red cape once again as an ambassador for Capes for Kids.
Amira is autistic and proud. She first came to Holland Bloorview at two years old to collaborate with the Autism Research Centre located in the hospital’s Bloorview Research Institute. When asked why she loves Holland Bloorview, Amira says her reasons are endless.
“I can name all of them, but we’d probably be here for the entire day. I find this to be a really fun and friendly hospital,” Amira says. “I love it. I make so many close friends.”
Between singing and “going wild” on the drums at Spiral Garden art camp, Amira has also enjoyed spending time with her sister in the hospital’s playroom – and making memories playing games with new friends.
She also says that doing research studies at the hospital are a fond memory for her.
At Holland Bloorview, Amira worked with researchers to help physicians better understand how they can support autistic children. These early experiences also helped Amira discover her strengths as an autistic person, she says.
“After all of the studies and the research, I found out that it’s pretty awesome to have autism,” says Amira. “It comes with a lot of strengths like good memory and being really loving. Also, I’m pretty good at math.”
She’s also pretty good at superhero duties.
Her favourite parts so far?
“Meeting everybody who makes Capes for Kids possible and seeing all of the amazing kids. You can make a lot of friends that way,” she says. “Getting to wear a cape is also pretty cool. It makes me get a little bit more confidence.”