ROSCOE, Ill. (WTVO) — A 12-year-old autistic girl started hand-painting rocks and placing them in different areas, with the idea that whoever finds them takes it to a new place for someone else to find.

Two months ago, Mariyah McKnight said had the idea to paint 15 “journey rocks” and hand them out across the area.

Now, the rocks are showing up in distant places like Tampa, Florida, Tuscon, Arizona, and Hawaii.

People who find the rocks have been posting photos of them, on beaches or even on balloon rides, to Mariyah’s Facebook page.

“I hope it puts a smile on their face. I hope it…makes their day joyful,” she said.

Mariyah has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism that makes it difficult for her to communicate with other people socially.

Her grandmother, Shelley Dicks, says her painted rock project is a way for Mariyah to convey her positive feelings.

“She wanted to know how many people they (the rocks) would meet and how many places they would meet. They are on a roll!” she said. “It’s neat. I’m really glad that it’s an opening for her. Who knows? They might make it to every state.”

Both Mariyah and her grandmother hope they can spread smiles and awareness of autism.