Boy with autism saves choking classmate with cool trick he learned on SpongeBob SquarePants

Jessica, L, and Brendan, R. Image: Staten Island Advance.


The Staten Island Advance reports that Brandon Williams, 13, was eating his lunch at Barnes Intermediate School on Oct. 28 when he saw that his classmate Jessica Pellegrino was choking on a piece of apple.

Brandon, who is autistic, quickly jumped up, pulled his classmate, Jessica Pellegrino, to her feet, and applied the Heimlich maneuver. Wrapping his arms around her mid-section, he gave a sharp thrust to her diaphragm, and she spit out the offender: a tricky piece of apple skin still attached to a morsel of fruit.

"I went like this," said Brandon, demonstrating the motion on his father, Anthony, in their Great Kills home, a few days after the Oct. 28 incident.

"Where did you learn that?" asked his dad.

"Learned it on Sponge Bob," Brandon answered instantly, in a rapid staccato voice.

Spongebob and his friends were happy to hear the news.

Spongebob and his friends were happy to hear the news.

Brandon is a seventh-grader at Barnes Intermediate School in Great Kills, New York. He and Jessica are both in a special-needs class, with a total of 12 students. Each child has a paraprofessional assigned during the school day.

In school Thursday, Jessica had a broad smile and a big hug for her classmate who saved her. "Thank you," she murmured.

"I just love her," Brandon said quickly, putting his head down.

"Young hero: Autistic student saves classmate from choking" []