If you had asked me two weeks ago "What is autism?", I doubt I could have put together much more than a pseudo-medical breakdown of its symptomology. It just wasn't a question I had asked myself very often- it was something I'd always accepted as "It just is."
And then this happened.
And then this.
So I wrote this.
And I read this.
And so many more stories that moved me.
And, much to my surprise, a new part of me was born into a community that I never knew existed. Or rather, I knew that it was there- I just didn't know that I belonged there too.
Over the course of the day, my heart swelled with joy, my eyes filled with tears, my soul soared to the clouds.
These are my people.
This is my home.
Those with autism. Those who love them. Those who teach them. Those who nurture them. Those who advocate for them, and for themselves. Those who see a brighter future and a world full of acceptance and diversity.
They are me. And I am them.
Today, I discovered a new part of my identity.
I suppose you never know who you are until someone attempts to mischaracterize you.
I was put here, in this time and in this place and I can choose how my life is spent.
I choose to spread love.
I choose to see hope.
I define myself by what can be.
I choose to do more than just "survive".
A huge thank you to the creators of the This Is Autism flashblog for bringing us together as one united voice for change. And a sly thank you to Suzanne Wright, of Autism Speaks, without whom none of this would have been possible (or necessary).