Joy

Thank you for dropping in on my not-so-secret diary. My outlet for sharing the adventures of my daily life and wild mind. I’ve spent the first sixteen years of my life with limited access to the wonders of the world but now is my chance to start again. I have begun my journey of rediscovering my place in the world. I invite you to join me.

My first post was originally published on my friend Brian’s blog, Speak Without A Voice.  Thanks Brian for giving me my first platform to share my voice with the world and the confidence to launch this blog.

Have you ever felt that warmth in your heart when surrounded by people who just understand you? Have you felt it just like a gust of fresh air on your skin when it is soaking up the sun? Do you have those friends that without words can make you feel understood? This is what I have gained over the past 2 years and this is what I wish for all of you. For those who don’t know me I am Alex LePape and I communicate using a letterboard. Oh and I have autism! I don’t lead with that anymore. Why you ask? Because it doesn’t matter. I am an 18 year old guy with a thirst for adventure and a love for learning. I am here today to share my journey of discovering friendship at 16 years old. Let me start by saying that connecting with people is something I have always loved and something my parents valued in our household. But it was limited by my difficulty communicating through speech. Enter the letterboard! I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say this 9” x 11” sheet of laminated cardboard changed everything. It redefined the meaning of friendship. It gave me infinite means of expression. It revealed my true self to the world. And it. Was. Epic.

I imagine what that sounds like to someone who has not seen the impact of the spelling to communicate method but it’s true. I love that I can tell people the truth from the perspective of someone that very much struggled to see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. But here I am!

In the past two years I have had the privilege of finding comraderie with a group of strong, like-minded individuals. I have had the pleasure of getting to know them and have grown so much from what they have taught me about myself. I wanted to take the time to write a sort of appreciation post to say thank you to all the friends I have made and to share with all of you that friendship has no bounds.

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