Today I was thrilled to receive a package in the mail containing my contributor copies of Autism Asperger's Digest. As a writer, this is one of those major moments: my first print story.
The article is "Scouting with Asperger's." It tells the story of how E. got involved with Scouts and what a major confidence builder it has been for him. If your child is interested, consider Scouting. The article details why Scouting is such an ideal activity for kids on the spectrum. For more details... you'll have to buy the magazine!
I have to tell you though. Opening the magazine, seeing my name, reading through my words... this is a huge moment. I never dreamed I would find myself writing in the niche, for a number of reasons.
My life often feels like it revolves around Asperger's. I remember reading the book House Rules by Jodi Picoult. The character of the mother stated that she felt like she herself sometimes had Asperger's because of how quickly it becomes all you can see and talk about. I know that feeling... well. Since Asperger's was the reason that I quit the "9-5 real job," I felt some resentment toward it. I also doubted that I had much to contribute to the conversation that had started long before I arrived on the scene.
Turns out that I do have something to contribute after all. Yesterday I received one of the most valuable compliments ever when the editor of the magazine, a woman who has read pretty much everything that's ever been written about Asperger's, emailed me to tell me that the article I had just submitted (a piece on advocacy that will run in the November issue) had actually helped her to have the best IEP meeting she had ever had.
This is exactly what every writer hope for when we apply fingers to keyboard. That our words will somehow make a difference in the lives of those who read them. That my words could make a difference in this woman's life is a profound moment. I can't wait for them to be read by others across the nation. That is why I am here.
Although when I began to write I had envisioned topics that were the equivalent of a slinky black cocktail dress, I find that this niche is really the comfy sweats that I'd much rather be wearing. The cocktail dress wouldn't have fit right, and frankly, I probably would have looked pretty silly and out of place in the dress. The sweats rock and always fit right, no matter how frazzled I feel.