Topeka teen with autism inducted into Highland Park National Honors Society

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– A Topeka teen is joining the National Honors Society at her school, and it’s not just her hard work that’s standing out.

Iyeisha Reyes is 17-years-old. She’s a senior at Highland Park High School, who likes school, being with friends. She especially loves drawing her favorite characters from the Ninja Turtles.

Iyeisha was diagnosed with autism when she was one and a half years old, specifically Aspergers. A developmental disorder affecting the ability to effectively socialize and communicate.

In fact, Iyeisha didn’t start talking until she was about 13-years-old. However, it didn’t stop her from being the person she is today.

“Her GPA, her grades,” Robert Reyes said, Iyeisha’s dad. “She’s always held up A’s and B’s most of her life. She’s always wanted to participate in class. She never wanted to be with everybody else.”

Her hard work in school paid off. This year, Iyeisha met the necessary requirements to be inducted into the Highland Park National Honors Society.

“I just never heard of somebody with a special program,” Robert said. “Special needs program, any kind of kid, that had those kinds of activities going on in their life to be a part of something like that.”

Her family said they never see Iyeisha as being different. She’s just always been like everyone else to them, not letting her autism get in the way of her happiness and success.

“I don’t think it really defines her,” Romeo Reyes said, Iyeisha’s brother. “No matter what, just keep trying the best you can. Try to keep learning and going on. If that works out for her, I’m sure it can work out for anyone.”

“I like that she can be that person that some other kids with special needs can look at and see that there is more out there for them,” Robert said. “And they can accomplish a little bit more than what they have in their life right now.”

Iyeisha has lived with autism for most of her life, but she never let it stop her from striving the way she is today.

Her dad said college is the next step for Iyeisha. He hopes to send her off to the University of Kansas.

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