That’s exactly how it feels for the Autism Community here in the Fall of 2011..! Much like when you are working on a jigsaw puzzle… deligently working to piece together and understand what it is you are assembling, envisioning and creating. With delibrate and careful thought. One by one the pieces become apparent to you. Coming together by revealing themselves in the order they must. Some must come in before others in order for all to fit into the Big Picture! As you come to see ‘the forest through the tree of pieces.’ Until finally you come to that moment. The moment  when you “see it” and, are then on the fast track to putting it all together! “AHA”, such an exhilarating moment!

The creation of The International Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention by the founders of  has been an awesome connector. Much like completing that jigsaw…people with like minds about Autism can now come together enjoy and celebrate each other’s strengths and talents. This is the exhileration we feel as we in this community seem to be gravitating and “fitting together!”Each with our own piece adding perfectly to this tapestry of incredible positive energy!

Recently it has been called to my attention that some dislike the puzzle piece icon that has been denoted to us. Us, being the Autism Community. Denoted as a way of identifying our group. Our group of “sub-groups” within the broad spectrum we live on. No person can be catagorically defined forever. People are multi faceted with varying experiences…that grow and change over the course of one’s life. This is the jigsaw that is  a life.

We cannot be forever tied to 1 label. We all have 100’s of labels that attach and drop as we grow, change and evolve. It is the nature of being. All of these pieces and experiences make us who we are.While being, we learn to assign and “identify,” tag and label in order to learn. It is how we shape our world and move forward to do what we can do.

So I do not percieve the puzzle piece icon as a label that demeans.  Frankly I find all people to be puzzling!  It is what it is…what we are as humans. Born as a beautiful canvas  evolving into ART!  Many experiences weaving into a beautiful landscape that becomes our existence. Our metamorphisis! All of us with our unique shapes, textures, colors and perceptions. Not an icon that can be seen as a symbol trivializing a persons unique soul. But, as a piece of  The”Big Autism Picture” that Dr. Lars Perner speaks of. A picture that has been piecing itself together through individuals for years. Individuals silently working and moving forward with a positive agenda. An agenda of strength, talent and determination to show professionals and the world experientially what Autistic minds are capable of. More importantly how this ‘mind-set’ can and does enhance society.

This silent agenda that has taken years to build has become a powerful platform. A platform for our future that will enable so much life to come to light.  What an amazing experience we had at The 2nd Annual Int’l Naturally Autistic People Awards and ConventionPerformances, celebrations plus a day of workshops put on by Autistic People for Autistic People and their families! What a glimpse into our phenomonal future. The future for the NEW generation of Autistic People.

This is a picture that has been assembling and coming into focus now for years! A picture that will be defining itself as more Autistic Adults share their perceptions  and experiences to the world. People like Leonora Gregory Collura (visionary of these Awards), Temple Grandin and Donna Williams. These Autistic women that have harnessed their strengths and are using them to benefit society.  People that believe in people. It is powerful thing… love, acceptance and self esteem. These ingredients are what can drive the human spirit to success and move mountains. This is the positive perspective for spectrum life that many people are paving across this planet. THANK-YOU, you know who you all are!!

That positive energy merged with Academic Autistic minds here now and ready to help re-shape the learning curve…WOW! What, could be better than that for all of us on the AutismHWY?!! A world with a more perfect sense about who they are and about how their mind percieves the world. How we all are and need to be unique in that process. That indeed we are all uniquely piecing our lives together 1 step at a time. Through this positive movement we seek to create understanding and to help the world concieve of the many small pieces that make up the big picture of this amazing Autism SPECTRUM! & How harnessing that energy…is a game-changer for the planet!