This series of posts on “Ten Things” is based on the article “Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew.

”Please focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.”

Alyssa is a unique individual with gifts and talents that no one else has.  Just like every other child or adult with special needs.

Of Alyssa’s many gifts (laughter, unconditional love, a great memory, etc), there is one story I love the most.

We were visiting a new church in Kansas.  As always, Alyssa sat and colored pictures during the entire service.  It was (and still is) her practice to design all sorts of pictures to give out after church.  Well, this particular day was no exception.  The problem was, we did not know one single person at this church.

That didn’t stop Alyssa, though!  After the service ended, she made a beeline for the corner of the building about as far away as she could get from where we were sitting.  She found some lady, a complete stranger, gave her all the pictures she had colored, and gave her a huge hug.  By the time we had found her, this stranger was in tears.  She was practically bawling and just kept saying “You have no idea how much I needed this today.  No idea.  No idea.”

It was a beautiful picture of one of Alyssa’s gifts… one I’ve never seen exhibited by anyone else.  She has an uncanny ability to find those who are hurting and minister to their soul without ever speaking a word.

And that is one special gift.