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These Are the Things I Was Told I Would Never Do

This guest blog post is by Ann Kagarise. Ann is a writer, self-advocate, photographer and assistant director at a school for children with autism.

I believe I was born perseverating. Giving up was not an option. I know that perseverating has a negative tone, but there is a different side. I have autism. Getting stuck is something I do. My determination to be, to create, to communicate, to overcome all obstacles is a day to day perseveration. 

I was told I would not hit a ball. My eyes do not converge and I have no depth perception. I went in the backyard and practiced until I was hitting home runs. Meeting the ball with that bat, was difficult, but not impossible.

I was told I would not have the best motor skills. Not only did I ride a bike, but I got a unicycle and practiced until I rode a six-footer in a parade.

I was told I wouldn't drive with the neurodevelopmental issues and my vision. I practiced and practiced until I even drove a large postal truck...on the right side of the vehicle. Opposite of what I was used to. 

I was told I probably wouldn't graduate high school. My comprehension and retention was just not there. So, I picked up a tape recorder and read into it. I didn't understand it, but I read out loud and taped it. I listened to what I had just read, one sentence at a time. I rewrote what I heard in simplified sentences. I did this until I graduated from college. I did it until I received my masters. Not learning, was not an option.

Call it perseveration. Call it determination. 

I can paint a room until I am done. I will do the work, my employer asks me to do, until it is perfect. 

Yes, I do get stuck on my anxieties and fears. I can get stuck on not accepting a change in my day or simply serving myself food in front of a room full of people...but the bigger picture, at the end of the day, I can say...I am stuck on making it, not giving up and being the best I can be each and every single day as I live AND succeed with autism. 

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.