Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello World

I don't know if it is possible to measure the impact of this tour. And if we could, what would the criteria be? It's impossible to know what a little bit of autism understanding will do for a person in a week, a year, or maybe even two decades from now. However, there is one thing I can measure and that is the questions that are asked and, in what was my most memorable venue and stage ever, I was asked a question that stopped me in my tracks.

Faith Lutheran Middle School/High School, Las Vegas, NV
When I present to schools I don't use anything flashy, no PowerPoint, it's just me and my words for 20 minutes. After that it's open to questions and this is something that never goes the same way twice. The final question of the first presentation on Thursday in Las Vegas, by a student all the way in the top row, was, "Yeah, you've spoken about the depression and sadness you felt and how hard socializing is so what made you want to come out of your world and into ours?"

I may have been on a stage, I may have been in front of nearly 800 people, but at that moment my entire being was not in that place but in all the struggles I had to go through to get to be on that stage. I began to think back of all that had happened and then, realizing I needed to say something, I smiled greatly and said, "Wow! That might be the most profound question I've ever been asked." From there I talked about my passion that, for some reason, I'm able to write and I am able to stand up there on the stage, give my story, and give others a much needed increase in autism awareness and understanding because there is hope through understanding.

If it had been up to me I wouldn't be doing what I am doing as I'm shy and quiet, and yet I stand in front of big groups and present. I added this in my answer, but I said my mission is more than me and I know there are others out there that are where I was and it doesn't need to be that way.

There are many moments I remember from the nearly 450 presentations I've given, but this question and answer, in that I explained my reasoning for breaking free of the shy and quiet me and for proclaiming, "HELLO WORLD," will be a moment that remains with me forever and just furthers my belief that speaking to students is more important than anyone can realize.


  1. A very awesome way to begin winding down a very awesome tour. Sounds to me like you'll come away from this tour with as many eye opening moments as those that you speak to will. And that's a great thing. Having our eyes opened to the greater good of what we do is always a good thing. Sometimes we can get caught up in the work we do and we may not see the actual effects of that work. But sometimes a voice will come out from a crowd and we know we'ver reached someone on a very deep level that will stay with us and, at that moment, we know that the seed we've planted has germinated and will eventually blossom and, hopefully, spread out from there to others.

  2. Aaron Thanks for your story and book. I am a Lutheran Pastor with a Son who his an Asper kid. Your story has helped me understand my son's way of thinking. You give me a hope I had not had before. Scott