I just got presenting at a school here in Van Buren, Missouri. I had, perhaps, the warmest reception to a presentation ever as a group of students chatted with me for half an hour after the first of my two presentations.
My 2nd presentation was to the 4th and 5th grade and I had one of my more interesting questions. The question was, "Why are you here? I mean, there are far bigger schools and cities out there." This question allowed me to use one of my mission statements and I was more than happy to answer. I said something along the lines of:
Yes, I know there are bigger schools, and cities out there and just five months ago I spoke to a school in Chesterton, Indiana that had 1,100 students in one presentation, but autism awareness isn't just about big cities and big schools as it is needed everywhere. Every person on the autism spectrum deserves understanding and it doesn't matter if it's in a big city like Saint Louis or a town like Van Buren. The need is everywhere and I want to be in as many places as I can be in!
I don't get caught up in giving answers all that often, but this question has hung with me for the few hours that have passed. I know I'm proud of my numbers that I've spoken to, now over 24,000, but while I, or anyone for that matter, could bask in the size of the number the needs aren't limited to groups of 1,000. The need isn't just in cities, but the need for awareness and understanding is everywhere. It doesn't matter where as each person reached is the most important person ever reached. I firmly believe this and this is what drives me and I'm so thankful for days like today in which I am able to spread the word of understanding.