Autism is an oft-misunderstood disability. People who have it display different behavioral patterns and characteristics, ranging from challenges with social skills to repetitive behavior. They also often exhibit unique strengths and differences.
There’s currently a strong movement to raise awareness around the condition. Two years ago a young lady called Imani Chapin tried to do just this with her Autism “Rocks” idea. Her awareness revolution had surprising results.
Imani’s idea started out as a small group who got together during her sophomore year at Union High School in Camas, Washington. Over the last two years, her project has definitely caught on, with similar groups and events having sprung up in many different places.
“I immediately fell in love with the idea and the process in which people paint rocks and hide them in their community, all the while searching for other artists’ rocks,” Imani said.
“When I find a painted rock,” she said, “I’m not looking for perfection. I’m just happy to see people are enjoying art, just like me.”
In February, a Facebook post by West Virginia woman Tiffany Ball-musser featured a photo of a rock covered in red paint and rainbow glitter and said a little girl at a gas station had shared it with her.
“So as I am pumping gas she walks up to me and hands me this little rock,” Tiffany wrote. “[She asked] me to take a picture of it and see how far her rock can make it around the world.”
This little girl was at the gas station this morning when I stopped for gas and she kept looking at me while i was…
According to the post, the girl’s father shared with Tiffany that his daughter had autism and was only given five years to live because of problems with her heart.
It’s not confirmed if this was part of Imani’s campaign, but the rock is still spreading awareness; Tiffany’s photo has been shared 1.8 million times! It seems that the brave and smart young Imani got her wish.
Please share and help this project grow even further. Knowledge is power and the more we know, the more we can help.