I know this is late, it took me a while to write. Serious post below!
Yesterday, for those of you who may have been unaware, was World Autism Awareness Day.
We sometimes use autism as a euphemism here in our brony community for social ineptitude, partly due to the seemingly-disproportionate amount of people with Aspberger's syndrome in the brony community. Autism, however, comes in a lot of different forms, some of which are far lower-functioning than that.
This is my brother, Daniel. Daniel was diagnosed with severe autism at a young age, and living with his has been exceptionally difficult. Up until the point where my family moved to Tennessee, where he currently lives, I have been a close to my brother, because as a special needs child he requires a lot of care.
Daniel does not speak much. He often communicates in broken english, mixes up words, and throws tantrums. The easiest way to explain it is that Daniel is a 3-year-old mentality inside the body of a middle-aged man. I cannot express to you how difficult life him can be.
Daniel does have some talents. One of his favorite things to do is draw; he has a very special talent for shape recognition and he often expresses himself by drawing logos, especially logos with high contrast and bright colors. He draws on manilla file folders, prompting my family to buy them for him by the box. He often draws a lot of logos, in the same way, in the same order, with minor changes. We can't really explain why, exactly. as an example:
I love my brother with all of my heart. This, for example, is the reason why the proceeds from True Equestria Radio are always donated to the Autism Society of America, a group which helped provide Daniel with tools and give our family lots of support over the years.
If you have the opportunity, please take a moment and donate to the ASA to help people like my brother live fulfilling lives.