The Face of Autism

Autism sells.

Comedy Central hosts a charity event every year to raise money and awareness for autism. Night of Too Many Stars brings in millions of dollars with performances from well-known actors, singers and comedians.

Celebrities promoting charitable organizations have done much good for people in need. However, the glamor and spectacle of such charity events often masks the not-as-pretty aspects of autism.

Autism is a hard condition to market to a wide audience. Most people don’t understand it and it doesn’t have too many success stories.

Promoting a cause requires a spokesperson. The minimum requirement for that spokesperson is the ability to speak.

Those who need the most help on the autism spectrum can possibly have difficulty communicating with people. The ones who understand autism the most may never be able to articulate to the world what they need the most.

The celebrities speaking out for autism usually are not diagnosed with it. Do a web search for celebrities with autism and no one particularly popular will pop up.

Marketing a charity relies on getting people to feel good about a cause. Sometimes the way to do that is by breaking peoples’ hearts.

Jodi DiPiazza, a young girl diagnosed with autism, has featured on Night of Too Many Stars multiple times. Her piano playing and singing has brought joyful tears to the eyes of many people.

DiPiazza is one of the few faces for autism today. What happens when autism runs out of cute and funny spokespeople?

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