35, New York, US.
I have 3 jobs. I'm a full-time Residential Counselor at a group home for people with mental illness, a Direct Support Professional at an after school program for autistic kids, and a Residential Habilitation Aide at a supervised apartment for people with developmental disabilities. I love my work, because it entails working directly with people, which is one of my strengths and passions!
Something People would be surprised to know about me: I'm a social butterfly, despite the stereotype that autistics are “to themselves.”
My biggest accomplishment in my opinion is earning a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and holding down 3 jobs in the human services field.
I want to show the world that autism isn't a negative thing, but rather an operating system that one is born with. That everyone is created to be who they are for a reason. That autistics are all unique from one another. That we are capable of a multitude of things.
What I want non-autistic people to know or “neurotypicals” to know about autism is that every autistic is unique, and we simply have a different operating system than that of the majority of humans. To ignore all the stereotypes you've heard, and to get to know us for who we are.
I actually haven't had any services throughout by life, as I was not diagnosed until I was 31. I do, however, belong to a couple autism groups. I've met several like-minded people, and really enjoy belonging to them!I feel that being employed by an organization who values me as both an autistic self-advocate and an employee has been very beneficial to me. I work with autistic kids in an after school program.
What I want others to know that are autistic is to be true to yourself, and just take life one day at a time and learn what your strengths are, and find an appreciation for what makes you, YOU! Work on obstacles little by little, one day at a time. Find your passions, and reach for your aspirations.
Funny story about me, when I was 13, a girl was telling me about how her friend stabbed her in the back. I asked her “what did she stab you with?”
Signs that were displayed of me showing autism were: I could see for myself that I interpret the world very literally. I often misinterpret things. I have a gift for working with electronics; it comes naturally to me like a second language. I've always been a little different, and have never cared what others think of me. I am into different things than my peers are; I've always seemed young for me age, which I love!
When I first received my diagnosis: I was elated! I got to work, and then called my parents, telling them the GREAT news! I felt a sense of validation, and a confirmation of what o had suspected for the past 5 years. Everything was right with the world!
Today I feel about my diagnosis: I still feel the same sense of pride that I did on March 19, 2014. I've come very far as a self-advocate, and hope to continue going even further!
While I sometimes wish I had been diagnosed early on, I also have a strong faith in that everything happens for a reason. I still managed to do well in school, and while I had my hurdles, I jumped over them with lots of hard work. I now know what tools help me best, and I can utilize them.
I struggle with time management and remembering things. Receiving a diagnosis, learning about how my brain processes things, and medication (I also have ADHD and take Adderall) have all been a huge help.