conner on paper clouds – believe!


{image is a photo of Katie, Conner, and Brooke together at Disney World in May of 2014.}

There is a handful of people in this world who know that the keys to Diary are always theirs for the asking. Two of them live under my roof (and look an awful lot like me.) They both know that if there is ever, EVER anything they want to share with you, the blog is all theirs. Heck, they know that if they want to take it over permanently, all they have to do is say the word and I’ll turn off the lights on my way out.

Another of those people is my dear friend, Conner Cummings. Conner is one of my favorite people in all the world. This is what I wrote about him last Summer and it’s no less true right this very second:

He is the kind of friend who sees straight into your soul. Who gleans from a few short words the emotion simmering below the surface, who hones in on it, and who, with a few short words back says, “I see you.” And who, in so doing, who makes the colors of life brighter, its pain duller, and its joy bigger.

Conner is the kind of friend who texts an audio file on your birthday that begins, “Happy birthday, Ms. Diary. I’m going to play a little concert for you,” and then goes on to fill your soul with the most beautiful piano concert you’ve ever heard. Four songs that he’s been practicing FOR YOU. Four songs that make you feel like the most important person on the face of the earth for those moments because their pure, raw, overflowing beauty is for you.

That’s Conner.

Conner reminds us to not only to be brave enough to be exactly who we are, but to celebrate every beautiful, magical molecule of our beings. There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for him. Which is why when I got a message from him this weekend beginning, “You told me if I ever want you to post something to ask so I am asking,” I started logging into Diary before I’d finished reading the sentence.

Conner explained that he’d been asked to contribute artwork to Paper Clouds Apparel’s latest campaign. If you’re not already familiar with Paper Clouds, please, please, please read more about them here. And if you don’t already follow them on Facebook, you can do that here. You’ll want to. Trust me. They’re all sorts of fabulous.

This is what Conner had to say about being asked to work with Paper Clouds:

I was so honored. Brooke loves to draw. It is a communication for her. Both me and mom have her shirts. My communication is not drawing but I tried. First I practiced holding a pencil more properly. Then I practiced the feel. I had ideas in my head but my hands did not see them. So I practiced so my hands would feel them. In each draw stroke I made there is my story my meaning. I tried hard. I am proud.

One is a self me doing what I love to do. Reading my words to Congress. The other is me how I feel. I hope that people like them. I hope that people love them and buy them. I want to sell 1001 shirts to make a difference.

These shirts will also be our campaign shirts while we change the law state by state. We are all unique. We all have our own timetables. We all communicate beautifully our own way. But one thing I wanted to shine on was that we all Believe. And without you Ms Diary and Brooke and Katie my mom and so many other people my believe had faded but it is back strong because you accept me for me and I accept you for you. And well isn’t that worth sharing?

(Editor’s note: Yes, Conner, it’s worth everything.)

So here are my two shirts campaign starts Monday Sept 21- Oct 10. My charities are two. Autism Society of Northern Virginia and ARC of Northern Virginia. Because when we felt lost they were are champions. They Believed in us.


{image is a photo of Conner’s “Believe” design on a t-shirt. Text reads, ‘I’ve got to be me. Believe. Accept me as I accept you. Above the word ‘Believe,’ Conner has drawn is ever-present Mickey ears.}


{image is a photo of Conner’s self-portrait featured on a canvas tote bag. He is, of course, wearing his Mickey ears while testifying before Congress in support of Conner’s Law. The text below the lectern reads, “I changed the law. I am autistic. Conner’s Law SB923 2015}

Please buy shirts, bags, hats and share them with your friends. Give them away in your own campaigns spreading the word that you too can make a difference – even change a law. Please and thank you.


Buy high quality gear featuring Conner’s designs and benefiting his charities of choice here.

Follow Conner here.

Follow Paper Clouds here.

Learn more about Conner’s Law here.

10 thoughts on “conner on paper clouds – believe!

  1. I can’t begin to tell you how much and in how many ways I love this post. Especially the part about how hard Connor tried with the drawings. My son is 12, and still doesn’t really write – Connor reminds me so often, as does Brooke, that everything happens in it’s own time…I just need to accept and believe 🙂

  2. I just returned from Disney last night and had a conversation with a friend about Conner while I was there. Got the fruited Plane shirt, Chloe’s sunshine shirt and now off to happily order one of Conner’s shirts, happily! Thanks for sharing!

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