Diagnosed with autism at 28 months old, my parents were given little hope that I would ever have a bright future. Non-verbal until the age of 4, my autism presented itself to the world through hand flapping, toe-walking, tantrums, and poor eating habits. As a result of my inability to communicate and socialize appropriately, I received help with speech lessons, occupational therapy and physical therapy. In addition, my parents put me on a gluten-free diet at 12 years old.
Although, this was a turning point for positive changes in my life, autism does not go away. My family and I learned to not only live with it but accept it. I am grateful for the support I continue to get from family and friends.
Often times, people ask me about my college years and why I didn’t finish my degree. For health reasons, I decided it was best for me to relook at a career that I felt will suit me better. I feel great success in what I have already accomplished. Because of my college, I am able to become a paraprofessional. While going to college, I had social anxiety and crazy obsession over studying. Even though professors probably didn’t expect everyone to be a 4.0 student, I felt I needed to be. My G.P.A is 3.75, which my mom tells me how proud of me she is, and she realizes how hard it really was on me.
Being a pencil artist is my gifted talent. I began to develop my talent around 13 years old. Unlike other children my age who were selling lemonade on the street corner, I tried selling my art. Although it didn’t go as well as I hoped, I continued to pursue my art in middle school, high school, and beyond. I received an exciting opportunity to display my drawings locally at the winery.
The inspirations for my drawings come from my passions. I am fascinated with the details of the Titanic, still life drawings, and animals. Depending on the topic, subject matter, and my mood, these drawings help me communicate with the world.
River Falls, WI