So this is a post in relation to a couple of things, including the third annual Autistics Speak Day - which is a day started by autistics in protests of Communication Shutdown Day (a day which aimed to raise awareness of what it's like for people to have autism, by people not communicating on social media for a day). Seems a bit silly to many of use who know being autistic first hand and that autism is not a fancy word for complete-lack-of-communication disorder.
I am a determined person. I am an enthusiastic person. I find a way to make a difference, be different and make myself heard.
So in light of all this, and in living defiance of those kinds of sweeping generalizations (and the fact that yesterday was the start of something new, with me having attended my last class of my undergraduate degree), I am going to present some of the things I've done in the last 12-18 months, that by many people's understanding of autism I probably "shouldn't have".
1. Just over a year ago I, as a result of my own decision, moved into a boarding college... this means that I live not with my family, another family or even with a few house mates - I live with 92 people and am not only present but involved and socially engaged.
2. Started working on this website - christianlifewithautism.com . Although it's not the most active or popular site in the world or anything - I am working on growing it and it's definitely communicative.
3. I commenced and completed a training program in one-on-one behavioural therapy with young children with ASDs.
4. I am involved in a couple of government related committees where I advise on autism related issues.
5. I was a successful leader on a busy youth camp for a week with high school aged kids.
6. I applied for two highly competitive graduate programs and reached the final stage of consideration for both. As a result, I was successful in gaining a position in one of these programs so I have a full time job lined up for next year before I have even graduated - something few people in my class have achieved.
7. I am graduating from university with not one but two degrees, and without having had or needed extra help.
8. I am moving to a new state and city next year, where I don't know anyone, because I am determined to make the most I can out of life and make a difference.
I bet plenty of neurotypicals hae just carried on with their lives in the same amount of time and not been actively involved in as many rewarding and challenging experiences and achievements as I have.
Be brave and change!