Growing up, I was always writing little poems or stories and even some songs. They weren’t always the best, but I enjoyed it. Writing was fun. It continued to be a creative outlet until one year in high school.
I was still undiagnosed as on the autism spectrum, but the teachers and staff were aware something was different. Everyone — except for my English teacher — realized I was beginning to struggle. This person just didn’t get it. I was so intimidated. Instead of learning, I began to fear writing.
In fact, I stopped writing. I stopped enjoying it. Every time I went to type, the page remained blank. I would see red marks all over every paper, picking apart each error until there was nothing left of my own but my name at the top.
I eventually got through this class but not without scars. I continued to dread writing. I saw it as a chore and something I was “obviously” incapable of.
Then I was officially diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. And although at first I didn’t really think much of it (I hadn’t changed), I noticed others began to understand me more. They began to listen when I tried to tell them I needed help with things. I looked into more of what autism was about and something clicked. I wanted to help people understand what my life was like as someone on the spectrum.
Finally, after a few years of being afraid to write, I was about to explode inside with all of my thoughts and feelings about autism that had been building up. I went to my computer and created a website. Then, I decided to make it a blog. At first, I was worried I would make mistakes or it wouldn’t be “good enough.” But my writing didn’t have to be perfect like my teacher had wanted it to be. It just had to help people. I started to write about what my life on the spectrum was like. I continued this blog for about two years… and then turned it into a book.
I am a writer. I may not write in the way my teacher had wanted me to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write. I’m a published author. And the best part is that I use my writing to help people.
The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a moment you were met with extreme negativity or adversity related to your disability and/or disease (or a loved one’s) and why you were proud of your response — or how you wish you could’ve responded. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.