October 21, 2011
By Natalie Davis, Miss Minnesota 2011
"No! Don't say that! I don't wanna talk about it!" Trevor was having a fit. He defiantly plugged his ears and shut his eyes as I told him about the kids at Awesome Club who also had autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I sat next to him on his bed, trying to explain that having Asperger's Syndrome was nothing to be ashamed of. All I accomplished was an increase in his fury because I had wrinkled his sheets. Towering over me with his six-foot-two frame, he clumsily pushed me out of his room and slammed the door, grumbling that he now needed to fix his bed. As I stood behind the closed door of his room, I knew he was engrossed in the detailed process of remaking his bed one layer at a time. This kind of behavior was not out of the ordinary for my brother Trevor.
Asperger’s Syndrome has always been a touchy subject for Trevor. Like most teenagers, he did not want to be viewed as different. So, when I found out that on his first day of college, he had stood in front of the class and said, “Hello, my name is Trevor Davis, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome,” my jaw dropped. I might have predicted he would mention his obsession with trains or his love of his two dogs, but to disclose his Asperger’s Syndrome to 40 strangers? To say I was shocked is an understatement. Furthermore, at the request of his professor, he arranged a discussion panel consisting of himself, our mom, the head of disability services and me.
He bravely stood in front of the class and told his peers what it was like to have Asperger’s Syndrome. He explained that loud noises and bright lights bother him and that he sometimes has trouble understanding jokes and sarcasm because he views the world in black and white. He also made sure to let people know that he was smart and hard working; he would not let his disability stand in his way of success.
Trevor never ceases to amaze me. The courage he had to disclose his disability is a sign of his maturity, and I believe his ability to share his challenges and strengths will help him find success later in life. Trevor’s goal is to be a best-selling children’s author, so stay tuned! You are sure to see his books at Barnes & Noble one day!
To learn more about the Miss Minnesota Organization, please visit www.missminnesota.org. To follow me during my year as Miss Minnesota, read my blog at www.nataliedavis.weebly.com.
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