‘Enjoy Your Ride!’: Kids With Autism Have a Message for Transit Riders

For Brenna Calles of New York, it was special to watch her son, Morgan, 6, write his own announcement. Morgan, who could not make eye contact or speak when he was younger, read and recorded the statement “over and over again until he got it the way he wanted it.”

Recently, Ms. Calles took Morgan to the East 180th Street station in the Bronx, where they waited for an hour to hear his message. The announcements are playing in 15-minute intervals at 11 major stations in New York, according to the M.T.A.

“Hello, passengers,” Morgan says in his announcement. “My name is Morgan Calles, and I am 6 years old. I love trains and buses. Today, the M.T.A. is letting me share an important announcement: If you see someone at risk of falling onto the tracks, please get help immediately. Tell a police officer or an M.T.A. employee. Be safe and happy Autism Awareness Month.”

Morgan called it “super duper duper duper duper exciting.”

Ms. Calles was also moved.

“It’s very special to me because, so many times, kids on the spectrum don’t have a voice and we, as parents, end up being their voice,” she said. “They don’t get the recognition they deserve.”

The children’s recordings, Ms. Calles said, show there “are so many different types of people on the spectrum, and they’re all different.”

Lisa Stephens, who lives in Atlanta, said her son, Immanuel, 7, recorded his announcement for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority 12 or 13 times before declaring: “OK, Mom. This is the one we’re going to send.”

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