Most parents like to share their children's handiwork on social media. Usually, they just get a few pleasant comments from close friends.
But when Kym Scott shared a short story by her daughter Libby on Twitter, it became a viral sensation that's still being read and shared more than a week later.
And the subject of Libby's work, her "daily struggle" with autism, explains why her story resonates with people around the world.
"I feel like toast that can’t quite fit into the toaster."
Autism is described as a developmental disability that affects how people hear, see, and feel the world around them.
Scott says her daughter has a "demand avoidant" autism spectrum disorder, which can get in the way of communicating with her friends and family.
"Libby's language skills were good right up to the age of around five, but as she grew older her difficulties became more pronounced," she told the BBC.
Libby says she often feels like "toast that can’t quite fit into the toaster. And to get it into the toaster, you have to sort of bend it out of shape and cram it in."
But despite those feelings, Kym says Libby is a creative and thoughtful girl, albeit a quiet one. But when her grandmother asked Libby to explain what autism feels like, she suddenly found her voice.
"My autistic [10-year-old] daughter, who hardly ever chooses to read or write, banged this out on the computer yesterday," Kym wrote, sharing a story written by Libby called "The life of a perfectionist."
"She’d be over the moon & maybe inspired to write more often if it got some likes & [retweets]."
But the huge number of reactions Libby's writing got left her and her mother "spellbound."
The life of a perfectionist
Here is Libby's original short story, inspired by her life with autism:
I lay in my bed as everything around me is still. I notice that the candles are in the wrong order; the cleaner must of done it. I think to myself ‘[I] don’t want to get up as I am so comfortable.’
I reluctantly climb out of my bed and adjust my candles. I then quickly get back into bed and pull the covers up to my chin, my eyes begin to flutter and, after a long night, I drift off.
The next morning I get up out of bed with high spirits but that changes as I realize: my [favorite] song doesn’t have exactly 100 words; it has 98. [My] heart stops. A few hours later I find myself writing to the singer telling her how I felt.
I got a reply from her saying 'I am sorry but I cannot change the lyrics of my song, lots of love Taylor Swift.'
I sigh and try to get another song stuck in my head. I fail.
To take my mind [off] things I head to the Bromley swimming pool get changed and start swimming but then I realize: the skittles that the life guard is eating out of a bowl are not in [color] order.
I clench my fists and stroll over there. “[Hey] life guard errm your-your skittles” I say, with a shake in my voice.
“[What] about ‘em” he replies, in a gruff, deep voice which forced me to take a step back.
I give up and walk away. Hours later, I make friends with this girl called Claire. We play, we talk, we go down the water slides together but I suddenly realize: her armbands don’t match.”
The story has been shared more than 22,000 times since Scott posted it, drawing over 1,000 comments, most of which are very supportive of Libby.
"Living with autism can take its toll as it is a daily struggle."
Comments continue to pour in praising Libby's writing, but Scott said the "most touching" notes are "from others affected by autism."
"Loving [Libby's] writing," one parent wrote.
"I have an amazing [11-year-old] whose [sic] also autistic who sounds very similar to your wonderful lady."
The huge amount of positive reactions has inspired Libby to keep sharing her writing, on a new blog.
She's already shared a number of new pieces, including an autobiographical story called "The life of autism."
"I stroll downstairs and tell my dad that he is playing guitar too loudly," Libby wrote. "He isn't. I ask myself why I do this and get no reply."
"Sometimes I pretend that everybody feels the same as me but *shakes head* I don't think so."
For the record, Libby's parents are very proud of their talented and creative daughter.
"Living with autism can take its toll as it is a daily struggle," Scott said.
"But Libby still gets up and goes to school and pushes herself and I know the bravery behind that."
And she hopes that people will continue to read and share Libby's stories as they learn about her condition.
"Libby told me that if there was one thing she wanted people to know about autism it is simply to understand it."
What do you think of Libby's writing?
Here are more uplifting stories about people with disabilities:
- Woman becomes first Down syndrome contestant in Miss USA history.
- 5 celebrity parents reveal what they've learned from raising their special needs kids.
- Mel B opens up about her learning disability in new interview.