Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be autistic?
I didn’t know I was autistic until I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome while I was in middle school. That changed my life. Looking back, I don’t remember everything that happened as a result of my diagnosis due to my poor memory. But I know for sure that my parents supported me every step of the way. They made sure I had an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) with the right accommodations to help me succeed in school.
After I entered public high school, I was placed in a Special ED class with about 4-5 other students who also had learning differences. The learning environment at my school wasn’t terrible, but I struggled in some of my classes just to keep up my good grades despite the accommodations I had under my belt.
A Step In The Right Direction
I decided to leave my public high school in the middle of my junior year and start attending a private boarding school located in Lake Wales, Florida for students with learning differences called The Vanguard School.
This was my first time being far away from my home in Georgia. The campus was much different from what I was used to, but I eventually learned my way around the place. Being at Vanguard helped me learn and grow more than ever before. I graduated with my high school diploma on May 27th, 2016.
The Next Chapter
The experience I had at Vanguard led me to pursue higher education in a similar environment. Since January 2017, I’ve been taking classes at Beacon College, an accredited college for students with ADHD and other learning differences that is located in Leesburg, Florida. At the time of this blog post going up, I’m currently on summer vacation from college until this August.
Anyways, I think I’ve rambled on for long enough. I hope that my experience is an inspiration to other individuals on the autism spectrum. Being autistic does not define who you are as a person nor is it something to be ashamed of. Think of it as a quirk or a personality trait instead.
How are you celebrating Autistic Pride Day?
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