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As a young child, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 3. Though I had excellent early intervention, I also struggled with information processing, bullying, challenges with schoolwork, and social interaction, among other issues. This continued from preschool to 10th grade. I had moved 6 times in my life, so I not only had to make transitions, but do so more frequently than most people.

However, when I began my junior year of high school, I discovered that I had academic ambition and talent. From that point on, I achieved grades that put me in the top 8 of my class. I had earned rare honors, such as being the first Delaware high school student to receive a certificate of merit and national-level recognition from Teen Voices of Democracy Magazine. In addition, I spoke publicly and voluntarily about my condition and extenuating circumstances to half of the student body in my school for an R-Word campaign. Through this, I became a highly respected member of my graduating class; enough to win prom king by a landslide! It is said that most people with autism do not go to school or do poorly if they do.

Despite the fact that I was a straggler, an individual who had no ambition, no friends, no capacity to think independently, and was first claimed to be unable to read, write, or attend school at all, I had pulled through to become an award-winning, critically acclaimed, and popular scholar in high school. Currently, I am attending the University of Delaware: one of the finest universities in the world, and I am studying biological sciences and doing fairly well thus far. Only a few years ago, I never would have imagined that I would excel academically the way I did, make many friends, or attend any college. At this point, I am proud to say that I have become who I was born to be: an idealist with ambition, dreams, and integrity. Finally, I have autism, but I also have happiness, independence, and high education.

Reese Eskridge
Newark, DE

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The Autism Site was founded to provide therapy to help children affected by autism spectrum disorders and their families. With a simple, daily click of the blue "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Autism Site, visitors help provide therapy for children in need. Visitors pay nothing. Therapy is paid for by the site's sponsors and distributed by charity partners of The Autism Site. Visitors can help more by shopping in The Autism Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers fund research into autism and even more therapy for children living with autism and their families. The store offers a wide array of items to show your support, as well as fair-traded and handcrafted items from around the world.

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