Kids with autism face unique challenges. These 10 glorious pics capture the victories.

Sometimes our smallest victories aren't that small at all.

"This Is Autism," a photo series produced by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, illustrates that point beautifully. The photos capture the moment that kids with autism reached their biggest achievements after receiving therapy at the hospital's Marcus Autism Center.

"For many families that have a child with autism, even the simplest milestones are something to celebrate," the hospital notes.


1. Quinn had a very tough time getting dropped off at day care before. Now she's ready to play and learn.

‌Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. ‌

“Before going to therapy, I had a difficult time dropping Quinn off at daycare. Some days, I would be late for work and stay with her because she was so upset. Now, she initiates the hug and kiss when I drop her off.” — Quintin Harris (Quinn's dad)

2. Gavi didn't acknowledge his younger brother before. Now they're best buds.

‌Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. ‌

“Gavi has come a long way. We couldn’t function at home prior to treatment. He didn’t acknowledge his younger brother, and they never played together. Now, they are best buddies and have a really sweet relationship.” — Lauren Surden (Gavi's mom)

‌Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. ‌

3. Navigating the grocery store was difficult for Ainsley last year. Now she can't get enough of the macaroni aisle.

‌Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“Last year, trips to the grocery store were hard for us. The lights, crowds, and noises would be too overwhelming for Ainsley. Since completion of the Feeding Disorders Program, she now loves shopping trips — particularly the macaroni aisle!” — Mary Mullikin (Ainsley's mom)

Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

4. Isaac struggled to express himself before. Now he loves ordering food at restaurants and chatting with others.

Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“At this time last year, 7-year-old Isaac wouldn’t ask for things. Instead, he would take my hand and lead me to what he wanted. I never knew what he was thinking or feeling because he couldn’t express himself. Today, it’s like he’s never met a stranger. He interacts with everyone he meets and loves to order food from his favorite restaurants.” — Keely Wright (Isaac's mom)

Photo courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

5. Ethan used to have trouble communicating with his family. Now his vocabulary is growing every day.

Photo courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

“Ethan struggled with communication and understanding his family. After just seven months of therapy, he can now understand me. He is starting to ask for things he wants and his vocabulary and expressiveness grows day by day.” —Haley Lindau (Ethan's mom)

Photo courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

April is Autism Awareness Month — the perfect time to spread the facts on autism and celebrate all those living on the spectrum.

Estimates suggest about 1 in 68 children have autism. Autism affects everyone a bit differently, though it usually affects social and communication skills, making seemingly simple tasks much more challenging.

Kids with autism often have unique skills sets. However, it's still worth acknowledging when therapy and the support of loved ones can help them take those small steps forward in everyday life.

Because every victory is worth celebrating.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

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The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.