It is interesting to me as to how I first knew about autism. I woke up ready to go to school sometime in 2011, at age 10, but I do not know exactly because it has been a long time. I saw a small note right beside my bed. I read it and learned that I had autism. I asked my parents afterward, and they told me that this was completely private and that I shouldn’t talk to anyone but them, my family, about having autism or any questions about what it meant to me. They knew about my autism probably because I learned to walk and talk at a different age than most people. I thought my life drastically changed after that.
The rule was that they were my parents who made my rules, so I thought I should follow them. It meant to me that if I tell anyone about my autism, my parents would get frustrated with me.
With my autism, I thought about situations differently than regular individuals, and felt more angry about certain scenarios than normal people would. With my autism, the rule from my parents made me not mention my disability to anyone, and I followed the rule until 2015 before I came to high school, but I still do not remember the exact date.
When I was taking a composition class, we were asked to write an introductory memoir about ourselves. I took advantage of this assignment and talked about my autism and how I cope with my differences. After completing this assignment, we were asked to read our memoir in front of the class. I believe this was one of the first times I discussed my autism to a large group and not my family or close friends.
Knowing about my autism, I became a new person I thought I would not come up to be—someone with a disability who took things differently than the majority of other people. It was scary at first, but I have become used to it now. Also, I do not have severe autism like other unique individuals, but it is still enough to change my thoughts.
As for how I define friendship, I want everyone, everywhere, to live in a state of peace and politeness. However, my parents told me many times that it is hard to control anyone else besides myself. This was one of the differences between me and my peers that I regret having. This characteristic of mine makes me resent change, especially when it comes in the last minute. I have a difficult time coping with change and sometimes my frustration leads to yelling and pounding. When this happens, I really cannot control it, but regret doing it minutes later. This is a big deterrent to making friends.
I want everyone to help each other out when they need it most and to make the world a better place for all men and women, no matter the color of their skin, no matter their race or the religion they support, and no matter what is unique about them. I want everyone to treat others with respect and kindness.
In my opinion, being a good friend means that someone is a positive experience in the world and that they take care of everything they can without complaining. Mostly though, a good friend makes sure they have fun with their lives. This is key. It is what makes them the character they are, including you.
I had an abundance of friends, yet most of them changed when they came to high school. From what I remember, I do not think I changed. I was shocked to see the majority of my friends, whom I knew for so long, become (sorry!) more foolish and did not appreciate their education like I do. They still are my friends today, but it was surprising at times to see them behave this way. I, though, became a more serious and hardworking student when I got to high school. I truly was worried when I started high school that I was not going to do well at all.
This characteristic of being a serious student has also affected my friendships. Most fellow students cannot relate to my personality in class of always wanting to do the right thing, being responsible at all times, and following the same process.
My parents, when I was at Merton Elementary School, thought that getting a C was at the same emotion of getting a D or F, yet they then thought when I came to high school, that a C was decent.
As my education built up, after every single semester, I have gotten only As and Bs, no Cs at all (well, in between semesters I may have gotten one or two, but I am talking about at the end of exams)!
To this day, I did not think I was going to get this far. I even have gotten quite far with my brother, Cameron. He used to be one grade below me due to us being born two years apart. However, because he did really well in school, he skipped 8th grade and went into freshman year of high school along with me. It was amazing to hear that he was going to be in the same grade as me, and we have gotten along very well. At home, we always like to have fun with whatever activities we do, from soccer to playing board/computer games to helping each other with homework.
My autism has been an important part of me, and what I want students to know is that my brain works differently, and it affects the person I am. To help me, they will have to treat me and other people with respect because it kills me to know that bullying still exists today, and it shines in this campus. To me, it should not. I also want other students to know the same goes with homework; ignoring it just will not do. Accomplish your homework and feel proud.
I want other students to know that I am like everyone else physically, but slightly mentally different. I am glad I found out about my autism, because otherwise, I would not be where I am today.
Although autism has changed my life, it is a journey I continue to learn from. Knowing about my autism has made my life better and it defines who I am. It is still important to me to this day and I am enjoying my life so far. I will continue to enjoy it, no matter what challenges face me!