This is speech that was given by Kaitlin Phelan, a young woman with autism, at the Greater Hudson Valley Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Her mother Patricia is the Walk Chair.
Good Morning everyone.
Welcome to the 2012 Greater Hudson Valley Walk.
My Name is Kaitlin Phelan and this is my story:
I was diagnosed with autism when I was 2 years old.
At 2, doctors said I functioned like a 3 month old and may need to go to an institution one day.
It was hard for me to do some things as I grew up.
But here I am today, at 13 years old, talking to you guys.
And I think that’s pretty good.
Right now I am in a public school that I get high honors in.
And basically what I am trying to say is that just because you have autism, doesn’t mean that things are impossible.
It just means that things can be harder for you.
But you can overcome these difficulties just like I did.
To all those kids out there that have autism, don’t let people say that you can’t do something because of some insecurity you have.
Because you can do it.
Remember that when you have autism, your brain is just rewired differently.
You make mistakes like any other person.
Without the help of my mom, I would have never been able to step out of my shell and do so many amazing things.
I’m proud to have autism because it made me tougher than I would have been without it!