We have a New Year’s Eve tradition – a scavenger hunt for photos Mom (that’d be me) has hidden throughout the house, calling to mind the moments – both big and small – that have filled the past year…lost teeth, Halloween costumes, birthdays, and the bribe-worthy candids I’m holding onto until future in-laws come calling…and I thought it might be equally thrilling to do the same for OUR family….our ASPERKIDS family.
Asperkids has become, to quote SHINE Ireland, an international movement of relentless positivity, reaching more than 1/4 million people every month and celebrating “All for Awesome & Awesome for All” every single day in ways I could never have imagined.
And friends, it’s all because of you….so here’s a quick look back at 2013 – and a wish for all that’s ahead.
In 2013, the Asperkids Series grew from two best-selling, award-winning books to four (the fifth is at the printer now!)…
a SERIOUSLY cool celebration of geek cool, fabulosity, Aspie special interests, and art-from-artists-on-the-spectrum…
And even CRAYONS named BY the KIDS!!!
with proceeds supporting Tectonic Theater, the Winner of
It was a year of truly humbling awards for the Asperkids blog, website, books, articles, Facebook page, and even a crazy redhead y’all put up with.
In other words, the world is beginning to listen to those of us on the spectrum, no longer just talking about us.
It was a surreal year at times for me, too, as my personal heroes became friends – and champions of all things Asperkids.
But if I may say so without sounding ungrateful, no award, no accolade, no ANYTHING is as precious as the faces and words of the parents & kids who LOVE what Asperkids means to them.
I even got to meet heroes from around the world…
and ask them for their autographs.
And along the way, we created something LONG overdue –
the CONGRATULATIONS! You’re An Asperkid! Kit – turning diagnosis into an initiation, a welcome into a community of belonging.
And met needs you didn’t even know the kids have (but we did!)…
We expanded our website to offer highly-requested (really reasonable) online…
AND the Brand New
And in that marketplace of handpicked FUN …
where trusted retailers, individual artists & artisans….support our core values AND purchases can support our work.
In that same shop, we could finally offer (at super-affordable cost): exclusive, instant-downloads, emailable bundles, articles, and videos for parents, teachers, friends, families, and KIDS of ALL ages & needs.
We created an entire section of the site dedicated to “I NEED INFO NOW!” moments – the “Big Moments” tab – quick links to our most popular tools.
We played games the way spectrum kids need to (and want to) –learning and laughing while sneaking in social skills and flexible thinking work at the same time.
We built pizza box ovens and held interactive games…bringing together kids from Australia to Alabama.
We began a global discussion on “Spotting the Pink on the Spectrum,” an insider look at what it is to be female and Aspie – to encourage young women in monumental ways, and begins plans for an international celebration unlike any that has been before.
And we got honest the ways teens & tweens need for us to….
(click for more!)
Heck, we even got to start a viral flash mob…
Create FUNNY, relevant, super-fabulous Pinterest boards with thousands of free ideas and thousands of dedicated followers…
And tell the world that SANTA is very, very real.
(Now THAT’S an honor!)
So, if you’ve ever wondered whether the positivity, the humor, the message of Asperkids were legit – if you’ve ever wondered if you belong here…
Yes, it is. And yes, you do. In fact…you are essential.
Asperkids is you. And YOU ARE AWESOME.
So, dear ones, Happy New Year.
I can only imagine what is just around the corner…
But for tonight, there is just this: thank you for honoring me with your kindness and confidence.
May we continue to be worthy of the amazing young people who share our todays and will shape our tomorrows.