I was asked once, "How does one person change the world?" My reply was, "One story at a time".
The diagnosis of autism was a rare one back in 1988 when Matt was diagnosed - only 1:10,000 affected. Then the numbers grew.....and people began to notice. I went from trying to explain autism to those Matt met each year, to really promoting autism awareness through my stories and speaking engagements using this little website. Although most people know the word autism now, we still have a long way to go to make this world a better place for those on the spectrum. Thank you for helping me promote autism awareness.
Thank you world, for your willingness to listen and to open your heart and mind to the mysterious puzzle that is autism.
Progress Report: Here's what's been happening . . .
October 23, 2014
Ever have a day that just felt ..."perfect"? That was yesterday for me. Great weather, perfect timing to each event, good food, and a fun time. During our lunch as we were discussing the amazing photographs Matt was taking I asked him if he would like to publish a book on his photography. Not only did he say "YES!" he said it with enthusiasm and got excited about doing it - excited enough to want a new camera, pick places to photograph, and in that moment I was hit with the "big picture".
Matt has been an artist since before he was autistic - it's a mom thing to know such things. I have always focused on his drawings, he did so many of them and he did them every single day. I always assumed his art would be his ticket to a paycheck.
I knew he loved photography - and the only course he would take at the college was photography - but I never saw it as more than a hobby.... until he moved to his own place.
Over the past year I have watched him make photo album after photo album. We have talked about perspectives and lighting and visual art, but it never struck me as more than conversation - until yesterday.
As always, Matt wished to go off on his own at the Mill. As always, I watched him to see where he was and what he was up to and read between the lines of non-verbal behavior. I watched him lay down on the sidewalk to get a picture of leaves, sit on the edge of a bank to get a picture of the sunlight on a small pool of water, and do 360 shots taking a half-step turn for each picture. Hundreds of pictures....
Matt showed them to me - beautiful, artistic, unique - all describe his view of the world around him. Of course..... He has different view and a different perspective. I've known this for most of his life - why did it take so long to hit me as to what he could do with it?
So - yes, Matt is now officially going to make a book of his photography. "From a Different View". We have set a deadline for date to publish at 2 years - in 2016. He has homework - deciding where he wants to get specific pictures for his book and for each season. He has purpose - going for walks can now be just about taking photos and not doing a grocery run. Life, for Matt, has taken on a new meaning - and his joy at this direction is on a path in the pursuit of happiness AND fulfillment.
So please join me in raising your glass (coffee mug, soda bottle, etc)....
Here's to Matt. May this quest and dream be the path you have been looking for, and may all your dreams come true. *clink*
Available in bookstores December 16, 2014
Reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars
The World According to Matt Shines Light on Autism
“They say you must walk a mile in another person’s shoes to really know them. Liz Becker is an Autism Mom who walks a marathon in her autistic son’s shoes and details it beautifully in her book Autism and The World According to Matt: A collection of 50 inspirational short stories on raising a moderate/severe mostly non-verbal autistic child from diagnosis to independence.
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The new book is off to a wonderful debut - number 1 on Amazon "Hot New Releases"! I am speechless. Kindle
Also now available on the Barnes and Noble's Nook! Release date - Feb 23, 2014
Autism Light, created by Alan Stokes, recognizes heroes in and for the autism community.
Honored as an Autism Light #13, on August 11, 2011". There are over 250 Autism Lights now and the number continues to grow. It's an honor to be a part of this autism awareness campaign. Thank you, Alan!
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