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atipico
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28 Oct 2017, 2:24 pm

I recently graduated from occupational therapy school and I am very fortunate to be able to embark on a career such as this, but I fear what is to come in the future. Along with finishing my degree, I found out that I also fall on the very high functioning end of the spectrum. This was a hard pill to swallow at first, but because this made my life and myself make more sense, it got better as the days went on. I am afraid that there will be a prejudice held against me in my career, that I cant make the same money as NT's, fulfill my life with things that make me happy, or live a normal life in general like NT's. Yes I function, yes I went to school and graduated, yes I even was a college athlete (a good one and very rare for people on the spectrum to have that kind of coordination/athletic skill), and yes I have found simple coping strategies that allow me to go day by day and not have this condition affect me (for the most part). Though these things are true, I still fear my life and career wont be as normal as I plan/assume it to be going forward. I've asked teachers in my profession that are close to me (they figured out I was HF over time) and other close friends etc. if I should worry about all these fears (especially the career and life fear stated above) and all of them gave me very positive and what seemed to be very honest reassuring answers. The reason for these fears is due to the fact that I am independent and I never had much of a family to begin with, so I have nothing to fall back on if these fears become a reality. My parents died at a very, very young age and my sister raised me. for the most part I am very lucky to have things turn out the way they did despite all the hardships I endured, accompanied with the fact that I have Aspergers. When I was a kid, I had a few different typical and/or atypical dreams of what I wanted to be when I grow up. One of them has come true and it is working as a healthcare/medical profession and I am at the cusp of my first job as I am applying for open positions I found. Ultimately I want to get my doctorate and specialize in Autism, and work with all of the atypical children this world has to offer because they ALL have something to offer the world; which is true after writing a shortened version of my story. Im writing this here to get some thoughts from others like me, and be apart of a community that I can relate too and trust.


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hobojungle
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28 Oct 2017, 2:37 pm

Amazing story. Future fears are common & understandable. I’ve had to move back home twice, once in my early 20s & now. Normal life transitions are challenging for me. If it wasn’t for my family, I would be homeless. I only realized I was autistic a year ago though. Knowledge is power.



B19
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28 Oct 2017, 4:00 pm

Congratulations on your achievements. What were your preconceptions of what ASD people were like before you realised that you were on the spectrum, and were had you got those impressions from?



atipico
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28 Oct 2017, 4:41 pm

B19 wrote:
Congratulations on your achievements. What were your preconceptions of what ASD people were like before you realised that you were on the spectrum, and were had you got those impressions from?


Thank you, and my impression on individuals on the spectrum were that they are just like everyone else, but who have amazing talents they already are aware of or need guidance to find...also that they may need extra help in certain areas of life which is understandable. Now because I understand so much more I see it as a community of people who are able to contribute all of their gifts to the world, but they just need a fair chance. I would love to do a ted talks on the topic and be the back bone for some of those who need someone in their corner to defend them.


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atipico
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28 Oct 2017, 4:42 pm

hobojungle wrote:
Amazing story. Future fears are common & understandable. I’ve had to move back home twice, once in my early 20s & now. Normal life transitions are challenging for me. If it wasn’t for my family, I would be homeless. I only realized I was autistic a year ago though. Knowledge is power.


Thank you, I guess what I’m trying to get out of this post is...should I have these concerns? I really just want to work until retirement and life a pretty normal low key life without having any complications such as getting a job or mainting one in my career.


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B19
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28 Oct 2017, 6:16 pm

What perspective do you take of autism? eg.. the medical model? or a neurodiverse perspective? I posted a thread recently about the four most common models of disability. Which is of most affinity to your thinking and knowledge at this stage?

https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=354763



atipico
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28 Oct 2017, 7:37 pm

B19 wrote:
What perspective do you take of autism? eg.. the medical model? or a neurodiverse perspective? I posted a thread recently about the four most common models of disability. Which is of most affinity to your thinking and knowledge at this stage?

viewtopic.php?t=354763


I am so thankful you sent me that information. That was such a great read and very informative. That could be a great ted talk and I hope more people read your post on the matter. I 100% agree with the rights-based model and I am inclined to believe that our society/world would be a much better place if the playing field becomes that equal.


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B19
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28 Oct 2017, 8:04 pm

You are very welcome. Glad you found it of value.



atipico
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28 Oct 2017, 8:09 pm

B19 wrote:
You are very welcome. Glad you found it of value.


In your own opinion, do you think I should be concerned with finding/maintaining a job in my career or worry about living a normal life from this point on? It bothers me daily, and until I am actually on the ground running and utilizing my degree I don’t think these anxieties will subside. I have nothing and no one to fall back on (not that I want that) but I just want to live a regular life, not too much to ask for.


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B19
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28 Oct 2017, 8:20 pm

It may be that your anxiety is getting in the way of realising that the two may not be incompatible. I had to move through my anxiety to achieve both, and get on speaking terms with it.. "ok, I hear what you are saying, I understand what has led you to think that way, and I know where you are coming from. However you are overlooking all I have achieved so far... you don't want me to move out of my comfort zone, but all my most significant achievements have been outside your territory...". Back in the day the well known book "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" was very empowering for me.



atipico
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28 Oct 2017, 8:34 pm

B19 wrote:
It may be that your anxiety is getting in the way of realising that the two may not be incompatible. I had to move through my anxiety to achieve both, and get on speaking terms with it.. "ok, I hear what you are saying, I understand what has led you to think that way, and I know where you are coming from. However you are overlooking all I have achieved so far... you don't want me to move out of my comfort zone, but all my most significant achievements have been outside your territory...". Back in the day the well known book "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" was very empowering for me.

That definitely makes sense and anxiety does play a role in thinking with clarity. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to get a job in my career, or many, and maintain it/them and live a normal life. Just knowing that the prejudice exists is my only fear because I don’t want society or others/employers to hold me back. I know that I can do the job well and I passed all requirements to be licensed, but I see what you’re saying. Go do it all anyways, no matter if it’s in or out of your comfort zone, and it will all work out. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it, and that sounds like a good read; I’ll have to take a look at that book soon.


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