I could tell you that 1 in 166, 150, 100, 91... you pick which study you want to believe... is way too many.
Or I could tell you to join one of the many Walk Now for Autism Speaks walks around the country and fundraise.
Or I could tell you to wear blue today.
But what good would that do? If I were speaking to the general public, I might recite statistics and whatnot. But you know the numbers. You know about the walks. You know about Light It Up Blue.
So what can I tell you? I can tell you what autism means to this girl.
Autism means both a blessing and a curse, but daily, I struggle to find the blessing
It means I desperately want to be like everyone else and struggle constantly to accept myself with my social and communication challenges.
It means I often see myself as "less than," even though God created me-- ME-- in His own image.
Autism means being asked, "Wait, you can drive?" or "You went to college?" on an almost daily basis.
It means having people automatically talk to your mother or your friend when you're out, because they don't know how to talk to you.
Autism means finding great joy only in things so obscure that no one else cares about them, it seems.
Autism means anxiety so great that you're scared to go to church and terrified to pick up 3 things at the grocery store.
Autism means 5 emotions: Happy, sad, frustrated, excited, scared... and often, I can't even tell those apart.
It means that your automatic reaction to most of these emotions, even if the good ones, is to hurt yourself. It means not knowing why you do it.
Autism means that, by having read this, you have a job to do. Tell just one person that today is Autism Awareness Day. Explain to them what autism means. If you don't know how, just share my blog with them or update your Facebook status. The only way that people with autism will be comfortable in this world is if the world knows who we are, what we're all about, what we need. That's way too big of a project for one person.
Who will you tell today?