News & Appearances
- Early in life, I was put into special education classes. My first big act of self advocacy came in the second grade when I typed my first words: “Get me out of special ed!” Included in regular classes since third grade, I have participated in all the major activities and responsibilities of non-disabled children. As a result, I have gained lifelong friends and an education that has prepared me for college.
- I have gained a great measure of independence in my communication. I began typing in second grade with support at the hand. Through occupational therapy and thoughtful support provided by caring people, I have been able to fade support to using physical support at the wrist, forearm, and elbow. I now read aloud many of the messages I type, and am constantly practicing to improve my emerging voice.
- September 2007, at age 17, I started college. When I was little, I never thought I would be able to get to college. I am constantly astonished by the things that I can accomplish with determination and support. Life is amazing.
- Developing my social circle has remained quite important to me over the years. Though autistic people are often seen as antisocial, my experience tells a different story. My obstacles to socializing involve communication disabilities, social sensitivities, and an extreme difficulty in making the first social move. Despite these difficulties, I have made many friends, and I keep in close contact with them through email. I have found email to be an indispensable social tool.
- May 2008, at 18 years old, I moved out of my parent’s house. I am living with my friends, Shawn and Ahron, in the Santa Cruz region of California. I’ve known Shawn and Ahron for years, and am excited about this new living situation. I am learning all the skills of running a household: cooking, cleaning, scheduling, shopping, laundry, and picking up after myself. I am domesticating quite well!