Recent statistics collected by the Center for Disease Control say that 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum. But as anyone who has been touched by an ASD knows, the kids affected are much more than a number.
Last year, Autism Shines, a project that aims to debunk negative myths about ASDs, asked parents for photos and stories of children on the spectrum to show just that. The project kicked off after the Sandy Hook shooting, when speculations swirled that the killer had autism.
"We wanted to do something to change the world for the people we love, particularly because it felt more and more unsafe for them in the wake of this massacre and the media stories," organizer Tim Tucker told Babble at the time.
We asked parents to contribute to the "This Is Autism" movement here on HuffPost, and now as this year's National Autism Awareness Month comes to an end, we're sharing their stories again. Because the importance of this message extends far beyond the tragedy. It's forever.
This is autism.