Sunday, April 14, 2019

21 from Delaware 

Well I'm a college student at the moment majoring in Human Services. I will be graduating from Delaware Technical & Community College this May with my Associates degree. I am also currently interning at the Food Bank of Delaware for one of my courses at college. I have to acquire 200 hours of it by the end of the semester. I am also Vice President of the Human Services club and the lead facilitator of a support group called Autism United at my school, while of course it's moderated by the disability support counselor on campus. I also attend meetings every month to a local support group in Bear, DE called Asperger's Alliance. On my spare time, I love hanging out with friends, watching TV, walking around my neighborhood, and listening to music. I like doing what I do, I'd say the best thing to do always while navigating this crazy life is self care as much as possible.

Silly, awkward story? Well last week at my internship, my site manager was trying to tell me something from a distance while I was busy with something in the volunteer room. I couldn't hear exactly what he saying because of the noise I was processing. Idk if it was like a brief auditory hallucination or something but I processed him saying "Cocaine", referencing from a conversation about one of the UFC fighters that kept failing drug tests Jon Jones. Then when my manager came up to me and tried to tell me what he said, he lost his train of thought and I casually replied to him "Cocaine?". He gave me that cockeyed look of shock because I said it out loud with the other volunteers in the room. Thankfully I didn't think anyone noticed and I told my manager later what happened and it was all good. I didn't get in trouble or anything lol. But I was laughing in my head for the rest of the day thinking about his facial expression when I said that, it was priceless. I told my other friends about this but not my school program faculty about it lmao.

I can juggle a basketball on my feet while laying down on my stomach without looking. Also too, I didn't learn how to tie my own shoes until I was 12 and ride a bike without training wheels until I was turning 14. But yet I learned how to drive a car quickly in 2 months. I didn't know how to utilize a lawn mower until I was 15. Still to this day, I do not know how to cook a complete meal using the stove. I'm 21, and I still haven't smoked or drank any sip of alcohol & never been in a relationship . As mild or high functioning as I appear to be, I'm still very dependent in my other aspects of life.

How could I change the world or myself? I haven't given it complete thought but it really doesn't take a whole lot at least for the world perspective. For one, treating people right for whoever they are is a start. Help people when they ask or if it looks like they may need it. Get more involved politically perhaps, staying informed and going out to vote. For me? Perhaps stopping my habit in procrastinating. I know it's often a trait of autism with the attention deficit side, but it can be a learned behavior as well. May need to develop a discipline or perhaps see a cognitive behavioral therapist. I would also like to improve my level of empathy. Since I'm in the field of Human Services, there are always classes and seminars regarding that.

Obstacles? I've dealt with bullying through many years in school. Overcame them with age and great support from friends, family, and teachers. I have also got stricken with Ulcerative Colitis at an early age of 7, lost a lot of blood and it nearly killed me. I was hospitalized for a month and half, needed a blood transfusion and such. Medicine, diet, and family support has helped me out. I was even on remission for several years until I relapsed again last year. Once again meds and such have helped me again. Also too I struggled for many years in holding on to friendships with certain people people. I was oblivious to certain social cues and conventional norms when I was younger. I was or maybe still impulsive lol. I was inpatient and often a little clingy. I was also not courteous/respectful towards some boundaries. Often whenever I was confronted on my actions before I was eventually cut off, I would respond in anger and denial. I would often put blame on them. But after many trial and error experiences in my social life, I realized I had some toxic traits that I needed to work on, since then I learned to give friends space whenever they needed, not get volatile when I'm confronted on something, etc, and since then I haven't had as much drama with people. I learned also that being autistic with some of my traits and just a straight up annoying asshole are two completely separate things haha.

I was diagnosed on the spectrum at age 3. I don't know what form but my parents just remembered them saying just Autism. My diagnosis exactly as its written is Pervasive Developmental Disorder 299.80D. But two forms of Autism with the same ICD code number popped up when I googled it, either Asperger's or PDD-NOS. But its probably safe to say that I just got Autism. Anyway I was already reaching my developmental milestones early until I reached about 2 years old and I hit regression. I became non-verbal briefly, started screaming, and doing destructive behavior like head banging on the walls. I also started being more preoccupied with playing only one toy which was a bouncy ball. My parents couldn't even get me to respond to them. They were convinced that I became deaf. They took me to the children's hospital to get me tested, my hearing was fine it turned out. Other tests was conducted and a child psychiatrist concluded that I had Autism. After that, I received intensive early intervention with speech, occupational therapy, special education, and so on.

Accommodations I recieved in school were a time extension on tests at the testing center, and a scribe for accommodations. I figured I would need some academic support because I did have an IEP throughout my public school career. So I scheduled an appointment with the disabilities support counselor before my classes started. One of my friends suggested I bring my recent IEP reports, and my diagnosis from the hospital. She asked me too what some of my other specific struggles were. I did mention that I had a hard time processing multiple step verbal instruction with lack of structure. Right then and there, she asked if I would like a scribe or a tape recorder. I knew I would be annoyed as hell with using a tape recorder and having to listen to an attire lecture all over again when coming home. It was brought to my attention also that the classes weren't as structured as public schools were, I gave a note taker a shot and it had helped me out tremendously. I had a hard time focusing as lectures progressed with all the information being thrown out, I knew I couldn't keep up. Besides I like my information in writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment