One of my favorite quotes we have out there in the autism community today is from Stuart Duncan, an autism advocate who has a son on the autism spectrum. I first learned about this quote when he posted it on Twitter in 2012.

We often say that autism is a ‘spectrum’ and this fits perfectly into that definition. When I met Dr. Stephen Shore, another autism advocate who is also an international speaker on the spectrum for the first time I quickly learned about his quote “If you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism.”

This quote reminds us that no two people I’ve ever met on the spectrum have ever been alike.

I was reminded about this recently while speaking about my own journey on the autism spectrum to a 3rd grade classroom. One of the boys, who came up to me in Batman pajamas considering it was Pajama Day told me after my talk that he was on the autism spectrum. I looked at the boy and smiled. While we continued to talk I was blown away when he told me he knew Dr. Temple Grandin and Stuart Duncan amongst other advocates. It was then he told me one of his favorite quotes…

“Autism is one word attempting to describe millions of different stories.”

I’m thankful to Stuart for authoring this quote for our community to use in conversations like in my exchange with this young boy. We all need role models to look up too. Growing up, I wish I was aware of people like Stuart, Stephen and Temple. They give me an endless amount of motivation to strive in what I hope to do in my future.