'Adulting' as Someone on the Autism Spectrum
When I was 16 years old — only a year after I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum — I asked to get my driver’s permit. My parents were worried I wouldn’t be able to handle driving. They made me wait another year before they finally decided to allow me to try. It took what seemed like over a hundred laps around the local corporate center for me to even try to venture into traffic. But over time, I learned the main skills I needed. I passed my driver’s test on the first try.
When I graduated high school, I wasn’t ready for college. So instead, I focused on learning some more life skills while volunteering in the community. It took some time and hard work. But after working on this for a few years, I finally moved out of my parents’ house.
I still needed to pay the bills.
I didn’t settle on a perfect job right away. It took some time to find a good fit. Yet, after many practice (and real) interviews, I landed a part-time position that I have the ability to do well in.
And when I was finally ready, I decided to try going back to school. Yes, I’m only taking one class at a time. But I’m getting good grades, and I’m currently signed up for my third class!
I may be on the autism spectrum. But that does not mean I’m incapable of things. It may mean I do things a bit more slowly. It could be that I do things in a different way. But I’m still capable.
I can’t speak for others on the autism spectrum or predict the future in any way. I would like to remind parents of one thing, though. I want to tell parents to please, never give up hope. I needed a gentle push here and there, and it took some extra time. But I’m so glad my parents gave me a chance.
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