May 5, 2011
My name is Karly. I have Asperger’s. I was diagnosed very young. Most of you know what comes with the package- dislike of social gatherings, speaking to strangers, looking at people…heck, I couldn’t go to have something rung up at the counter or order at a restaurant myself until I was 15. I’m now 21, survived and graduated high school (as class valedictorian) and, like many my age, doing the balancing act of doing well in college and getting a job. I have to say they really don’t prepare you for it in high school despite what the guidance counselors say, but I digress.
Now, I want to become an artist and graphic designer. I go to school for that. I thought it would be someone just telling me what they want, and I draw it. It’s way more than that. So, in hopes of helping me manage, I took a communications class to fill one of my elective classes, knowing I was going to have to get in front of people and talk. I got the shakes when I was at the podium, but I still got up. I knew that if I lived through it, I could better myself as a person.
My final speech had to be five minutes long. So, I decided to do it on a subject I am very fond of - one of my heroes, the late astronomer Carl Sagan. Again, I got up, set up my PowerPoint, started shaking like a leaf and soldiered on. A few times I heard myself quaver, but I was determined to see it through. When I finished, I asked if I could share something with the class. I told them everything - that I was autistic, and over the last two years, that I voluntarily pushed myself to have a better education and that I signed myself up for this class in order to help me get over one of my biggest fears.
From the looks on their faces, most of the class was absolutely shocked. Even the professor’s jaw dropped. And he even had me for a freshman seminar class three semesters earlier. When he met up with us for final grades a few days later (I got a B+; not my greatest grade, but pretty good given my situation), he told me he was very proud of what I did, and that was the kind of success story he wants to hear from people. So, here I am sharing it. Who knows? Maybe this story will inspire another person to go out on a limb and make themselves a better person by doing so.
April 10, 2013
The Autism Society, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization, has chosen Pittsburgh as the host city of its 44th annual conference on autism spectrum disorders.
April 5, 2013
Individuals with autism can attend the Autism Society National Conference and Exposition (in Pittsburgh) for FREE this year! Learn more: www.autism-society.org/conference.
April 3, 2013
Monarch Teaching Technologies, the makers of VizZle®, web-based educational software for visual learners with autism, will give one-year of free VizZle to every new (or renewing) Champion Member during April.
April 2, 2013
Read the Autism Society’s digital magazine about autism spectrum disorders!
April 2, 2013
Today, throughout the world, individuals will come together highlighting the needs and dreams of people living with autism.