Foley, Alabama, US
Foley, Alabama, US
I am originally from Colorado. I work as a kennel technician for a living. I love working with animals because they love you unconditionally, and don’t mind the fact I have autism. I have been with the same company for 12 years. I wish that my job was full time and offered me more perks than it does, though.
My biggest accomplishment so far is getting over 100 feral cats spayed and neutered on my limited income of $12.50 an hour, especially considering it costs between $75 and $100 per cat to be fixed and receive a rabies shot.
I would like to find a cure for autism. I believe that this would help me fit in with the world, have friends, and a good paying job with medical benefits. I know I can't find a cure for autism so I would like to educate others about what autism spectrum disorder is. I wish that neurotypicals knew that those of autism don't like change. We like to keep our routine the same and when something in our routine deviates we are prone to a meltdown. I would also like neurotypicals to respect our personal space and not be so touchy feely. I personally don't like people to touch me. I want to tell people on the spectrum to just keep putting one foot in front of the other because we never know what is waiting for us around the next corner. We are Always Unique Totally Intelligent Sometimes Mysterious. The letters in capital spell out AUTISM.
An awkward story that I would like to share is one year at Thanksgiving my husband and I were invited to a holiday gathering. I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, but he ate else's, and nobody ate mine! I took my pie home with me and was so mad at him for not eating my pie I threw it all over him in my 1991 Camaro. It took my best friend and I two weeks to clean all of the pie from the car. Every year my husband and I make Camaro pumpkin pie.
I believe not being diagnosed as a child made things more difficult for me, as I had weaknesses but did not have services to compensate for them. There were several signs that suggested I was on the autism spectrum. For one, I rock back and forth, flap my hands, and hum if I am over stimulated. When I get mad I have a tendency to hit my head or chest. I don't like people in my personal space or touching me. I am prone to meltdowns if my daily routine gets thrown off. I had very poor fine motor skills as a child. I also tend to speak thru my nose and mumble my words. I have poor balance. I believe I would have benefited from physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. Once I was finally diagnosed on the autism spectrum disorder in my twenties, I was so relieved. I knew that as a child I was different than other kids, and when I was diagnosed the differences all made sense. Once I had a professional diagnosis, my parents and husband quit saying I was acting like a spoiled brat.
I have had numerous challenges in my life that I believe were due to my disability. For instance, I wanted to be a special education teacher and I passed the place test but didn't pass my student teaching. The first time I questioned a teacher’s authority and they took me out. The second time I didn't interact with the staff and lost control of a first-grade class when teaching them about dinosaurs. I love to hike but due to my lack of balance and poor coordination I must hike with a partner. The problem with finding a partner to hike with is I have very few friends. I am brutally honest, and a lot of people find me to abrupt.
Someone might be surprised to know that I am 47 years old and I still suck my finger and sleep with stuffed animals and my baby blanket.