I wasn’t diagnosed with autism until I was 12 years old. I struggled to fit in all my life. I couldn’t talk until I was 8. To some that’s a part of having a disability, however autism can be an ability. How? Learn your strengths, build upon them and educate yourself.
That’s exactly what I did. I received my IEP (Individualized Education Program) certificate. That wasn’t even close to having an actual high school diploma. By that time, I was already in an academic and vocational program. I also earned my early childhood certificate. This required me to complete two-year student teaching internships. That happened in 2009, but I received my GED (General Education Diploma) in 2010.
Then I went to college, despite being told I wasn’t capable of succeeding. I juggled four to six classes each semester, struggled a bit and took advantage of campus resources. I made two new friends and my current fiancee. I finished my AA in 2012 and decided to attend college online. I loved it! I was able to study independently during my own times. I studied English and Creative Writing for both my BA and MA at two separate fully accredited online schools. I graduated in 2016 and 2018.
I didn’t stop there though. I was able to self-publish my first book. It’s a poetry book entitled, “Through My Poetic Eyes.” On top of that I’ve been focusing on a new story lately. I was able to get some work experience as a daycare assistant last year. It didn’t work out as I expected, but I’m sure I can do more.
I’ve always loved words, so I took advantage of it. That’s what I consider my ability. I have autism, but I am capable of achieving great things. So if anyone asks how my autism impacts me, my reply would be, “It allows me to succeed.”