April is a big month for me. The reason that is, is because I have autism, and April is autism awareness month. It is the month that I can bring awareness, understanding, and acceptance to what I have. I can prove to others that autism is not a death sentence, that it is not something to be afraid of and most important, it is not something that cannot be managed by the person with it.
I was diagnosed with autism around the time I was 14. I was in the Philhaven Day hospital at the time and I was also being seen at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorder’s (CADD). It was there that I was diagnosed. It felt as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders at the time. Ever since my diagnosis, I have been dealing with the reality that I have autism. At first, I considered it something that was inherently apart of me. Something that I could never shake off or get better from.
I know now that this statement is wrong. Through years of therapy and soul searching, I learned to deal with having autism and I have not looked back at the darkness that I felt back then. Since I started at HACC I have been thriving, most of the time, while having autism. Currently, I am here in my second year at Millersville and I think that I am doing tremendously well for someone who at one point could not physically talk to anyone except family.
I am preparing for autism awareness month in a couple ways. First, I am going to be dyeing my beard blue for the month. Secondly, I am trying to get the clock tower lit up blue again. Like I did last year. April 2nd is international Autism awareness day, and I plan on wearing all blue for that day.