Erica Leung In my life I have been able to accomplish great things despite the obstacles I have overcome. When I was Seventeen years old I was diagnosed with Autism by the doctors from The Cody Center for Autism at Stony Brook University. After years of being mislabeled with everything from Learning Disabled to ADHD it was a relief for my parents to figure out what I had.
Growing up I knew that I was different from the rest of the world. I always seemed to be a step behind everyone else and never up to par. Basic skills that came naturally to others were a foreign language for me. This lack of coordination frequently made me the target of my peer’s jokes and teacher’s snide remarks. In middle school I had a teacher that found it funny to make my life a living hell. Every day, he would obnoxiously shout out “Your handwriting is BOO!!!” which caused all of my classmates to turn around and stare at me like I was a circus clown. I hated going to school and my mother had to bribe me just to leave the house.
Having an older sister who is not on the Autism Spectrum also made it abundantly clear that I was the odd ball out. I resented the fact that everything seemed to be handed over to her on a silver platter when I had to struggle for it. I also hated her ability to capture people’s attention and friendships when no one gave me the time or day. She was Ms. Popularity and I highly doubt she had a sad day in her whole damn life. She went out every single weekend and mine were spent at home hiding behind a happy face. It wasn’t until I went away for school and started working a full time job that I was able to form any friendships at all.
Although I am still behind most people my age I have come a very long way in a short time. It is definitely not a walk in the park being Autistic. I am thrown more curve balls and roadblocks than most people see in their life time. My life maybe a far more difficult one but it is something to which I would not want to trade in. I did not opt to be Autistic it was a choice God made for me. Every obstacle turned me into the strong person I am today and that is something no one can take away from me. As I continue to learn and grow I’ve made it a priority to write about my experiences and change the world one reader at a time. www.autisticfemale.com