No matter who you are or where you come from, we're all looking for some way to connect with others in a way that brings us joy. Check out Mariyah's story.

First things first, thank you for clicking on this story. Experiencing fun connections with others is a challenge even when you're not living with autism, which makes this story of 12-year-old Mariyah from Roscoe, Illinois so heart-filling.

Living with Asperger's Syndrome

Mariyah has a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome that makes it incredibly difficult for her to communicate with others. In her words, Mariyah detailed what her life is like.

I have Aspergers n I don't have many friends...kids think I'm weird or annoying because I repeat a lot, I copycat a lot, I stare a lot, I talk a lot because I ask a lot a lot of questions..i dress in comfy clothes.

A couple of months ago, Mariyah and her grandmother came up with a way for Mariyah to make some very interesting connections with people in Roscoe and surprisingly also nationwide. My favorite part of this is that we can make a connection with Mariyah too, here's how.

Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
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Mariyah's Journey Rocks

Mariyah doesn't like having to spend so much time alone, but this summer she's using some of that time to paint very special rocks that she gives to people. But it's not how you think. Mariyah and her grandmother hide these rocks all over for us to find. Once you find one, Mariyah has a very special request

1. Take a pic of you and my rock and don't forget to 😃
2. Post the pic and introduce yourself and where your from
3. Place my rock in one of your special places n pass the smile n kindness around.

Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
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This is Mariyah's Journey Rocks Facebook page, which is where she would love for you to share your photos.

These rocks have already traveled some great distances:

This was found in Palatine, Illinois.

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This rock took a trip in a hot air balloon in Tampa, Florida

Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
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Another one of Mariyah's rocks was found in Tucson, Arizona

Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
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And this rock is beaching in Hawaii.

Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
Mariah's Journey Rocks Facebook
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Mariyah even hid two rocks outside the radio station. Be sure to check the back of the rock you find to see if it's one of Mariyah's rocks

Autistic Illinois Girl Creates a Beautiful and Fun Way To Connect with Others
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Autistic Illinois Girl Creates a Beautiful and Fun Way To Connect with Others
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I'm not sure where I'm going to hide mine yet. When I figure out where to take it, I will give out some hints. Be sure to check out The Steve Shannon Show, weekday mornings 6:00-10:00, on 97ZOK.

Ummm, can anyone explain why these toys are tethered to an abandoned motel south of Rockford???

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