I wish that society understood how my mind works. All my life my autism has made me do things that others find strange and bizarre, that to me seem like the most normal things in the world. Like pacing in the hallway when I have nothing else to do, waving my hands or arms around or holding my right leg. To me this is a way to show that I am uncomfortable or not interested in what is going on around me. My condition has been seen as a problem and people have seen me as a lost cause when I was younger. Over time and with the help of teachers and parents I managed to prove them wrong. Unfortunately, out in the world whenever I stem people look at me like I am crazy and that I should not be allowed out on my own. Most of the time I feel isolated which is the reason that I don’t go outside much. I read a lot and keep to myself. People seem to think that I cannot work in an active world but I am more adaptable than they think. I am an able body worker and I can be as capable as anyone. I’ve looked up on how people like me have been treated by the world. Discrimination is common and we have been marginalized by society.
This program WAVE is helping out autistic people like me gain jobs at places that would be best. I feel that this program is important and that I am well placed here and that this is helping me. I have always tried to do my best, but sometimes I have been kind of lazy and have not been on task. I had to get encouragement from my mom and teachers. I was in a school program in which I learned at my own pace and had help. I had classes where I had others like me and they were more accepting of my stimming. They let me work at my own pace when I needed it, they got me to pay attention to my work and got me to hand it in on time. They gave me words of encouragement and pressed me to go on. I am thankful for their patience with me. I know I get hard sometimes but they did not give up on me. My teachers did all they could to make sure that I passed their tests. Even when I lost my textbooks, they would help me find them again. My mom also supported me in my studies and tried to help in any way she could. She was not the best student at her school either and it was difficult to answer the questions, but she did her best and I am thankful for that. So, as you can see I wish that more people could be like my mom and teachers and allow me to prove to them that I can be just as good as the rest.
- Brendan Ireland