This year we are hearing so much about changing the word Autism "Awareness" to Autism "Acceptance". Personally - I'm all about saying that just because someone is different (whatever that difference may be) - be aware of that difference, accept them for who they are, and celebrate how different ALL of us are!
It has been a year since my book Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Superhero with Autism has been out and what an amazing year it has been. No, I have not become a millionaire because of a book…was never the intention. I think what has happened has been just as wonderful. I have been able to be a small part of a much larger movement to make the lives of those living with autism visible to others.
And I do mean SMALL part. I realize what I do is nothing in comparison to the countlesshours of what others do, but I'm pleased for what I do get to be involved with around this time of year.
My book is one of the many items up for auction at a fundraiser for autism in Minnesota. It is being read by a group of PACE (after school program) kids in Richardson, Texas and my publisher made a donation to help get those kids shirts. It received an amazing review from a young boy with autism today. And it is part of a giveaway on another blog. An abundance of richest in one week!
Last week, I was the guest speaker at a kick-off for autism awareness at a middle school in New Jersey. And today, I spent the day at three different elementary schools in New York talking about the book, signing copies and sharing the message to 'not be afraid'.
The past year has been an incredible personal journey for me and I'm so happy to meet each new person I come in contact with that has autism in their lives on a daily basis. I learn new stories. I see smiling faces. I feel I am part of awareness and acceptance. And at times, I can't keep quiet about how I feel and take to my blog on Huffington Post to share my views.
April 2nd - awareness day. Whatever that may mean to you. It has meant the world to me and I'm proud to be a part of it.
BTW - I hear from people that I should contact their school and speak there. I am more than willing to travel around the Tri-State area (NY/NJ/CT) to talk about the book. But it's because of amazing parents in the school that bring the book to the attention of the school that gets me in there. Would love to do more!