Accepting myself and my autism changed my lifeBy Randy Walker, Jr.
I was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and when I was born the doctors told my mom that I wasn't gonna be able to walk, talk and hear. Growing up with autism was never easy, I always felt different from everybody, and even with family, and my mom would always tell me that autism was something I have but it's not all of me.
Growing up when I went to school I was in the special ed classes and I was always ashamed of myself and I remember always being called "retarded." That word is very discriminatory towards people with any disability and it made me doubt myself.
At the time, I was angry, sad a lot and insecure. I was dealing with deep depression all day everyday because of the fact that I was very unhappy with myself and I had thoughts of suicide like I literally wanted to take my own life but my faith in Jesus Christ saved my life.
After high school I went to a program called Project SEARCH it was a program for people with disabilities to get jobs in the office and medical field and the second year there I became a intern in CSP (Central Sterile Processing) at the University Of Maryland Medical Center and they liked me so much that they hired me!
I made it on ABC2 News here in Baltimore where they talked about my story and Project SEARCH. But I was still dealing with my personal issues but in late 2016 I rededicated myself to God. I love reading the bible and now I accept the fact that I have autism but it doesn't have me and I love myself now and I'm planning on writing to books of my own to inspire people with autism and all disabilities.
My message is that yes you have a disability but your disability doesn't have you, it does not define who you are and that you too can do anything. I would like to meet other adults with autism so I can share my story and journey with them.