Valerie’s Story

By Valerie Paradiz

I found out about my autism through the birth of my son, which might sound unusual. He was born 19 years ago and was diagnosed shortly thereafter. With time, I began to feel that I too had autism. Many of my friends diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome basically did an intervention and said, “Val, you’re busted.” It wasn’t that I didn’t want the diagnosis; over time, it was a huge relief.

To know how to behave and be in different social situations is one thing, but you have to know how to feel comfortable in them. What if making eye contact with someone makes it impossible for you to hear their voice? There are ways you can advocate for yourself in these situations if you learn how to talk to people about it.