A couple of months ago, imgur poster kazzaunit posted an album of photographs of his daughter Molly entitled "This is what Autism 'looks like.' "
Molly is 7 years old and, yes, she has special needs.
But she's also a kid.
So let's put "special needs" aside for a moment.
Let's talk about human needs. Let's talk about the emotional needs that everyone has, but that misunderstanding and assumption often get in the way of.
Maybe she's a little bit like your kid. Maybe she's a little bit like you were when you were a kid. She has things she likes and things she doesn't like. She has things that make her smile.
She loves clowns...
And hanging out.
Like all of us, she has some good days...
And she has some not-so-good days, too.
Her dad posted an album of Molly having some bad days to underscore the need for people to have a little more understanding and to not assume autism — or mental illness, or disability, or anything, really — looks a certain way.
"...I had wanted to highlight the other side of autism, the one where the kid is having a good day and coping but people tell her off for vocal ticking, because she is conforming mostly, she doesn't 'look autistic' that's the side of it that nobody has compassion for. If she looks normal, she should be able to fit in right? Is my kid not the socially acceptable type of disabled??"
So let's get back to needs.
Beyond her "special needs," her human needs are the same as anyone's, but without the same kind of obstacles.
So her dad asked for something to help with that.
The Internet responded with kindness. As of today, Molly's Facebook page has 1,935 likes.
Now, let's all add to that number.
If you've ever needed a friend, felt alone or different, or just misunderstood and had someone there to lean on, whether it was a stranger or loved one, you can pay it forward. You don't even have to get up or take out your wallet.
In another post, her dad writes:
"If any of you guys have pets and a minute to spare, another lovely lady set a page up for Mol, she loves seeing pet pics and learning their names and loves facts too."
So, there you go. Just leave a few words of encouragement, a pic of you and your pet, or anything you think Molly might like on her Facebook page.