Meet Lindsey W.

Lindsey W.

The social struggles I faced early on allowed me to realize the most important thing is being true to myself. I finally felt like it was okay to be alone with my thoughts at times and process things at my own pace. 
Lindsey W. Washington State acceptance

Hello everyone! My name is Lindsey and I have autism.  

I was diagnosed shortly after my second birthday, but I didn’t actually find out that I was autistic until I was a high school freshman. I remember being so upset and angry. I thought, 'I’m normal just like everyone else. Now I’m being told that I’m autistic?'. I became insecure to the point where I didn’t want to accept the diagnosis as fact. To say it was a difficult time in my life would be an understatement.  

In the beginning, when people found out that I had autism, I would be excluded from conversations and made fun of. Over time, I realized that I am unique in my own way and can do anything that I can put my mind to. This eventually allowed me to accept myself for who I am and be proud of it. I continued to work hard to succeed in school, which led me to graduating with honors. Being able to accomplish my goals and overcome some of the social struggles I faced early on allowed me to realize the most important thing is being true to myself. I finally felt that, at times, it was okay to be alone with my thoughts and process things at my own pace.

Everyone’s situation is unique, but doing what’s best for you and listening to what your heart is telling you is the best piece of advice I can give to other autistic people out there. If you know someone with autism, remember to be kind, patient, and accepting – you never know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes.  

Learn more about Lindsey and her autism journey in this Spectrum Spotlight Q&A: 

Lindsey W. 18 Birthday Celebration

What are five words that best describe you?  

The five words that best describe me are hard-working, energetic, kind, friendly and creative.  

Lindsey W. as a baby

How has autism shaped you into the person you are today?  

Autism has shaped me by helping me to focus more on my strengths, identifying areas of opportunity, understanding how I process differently from neurotypicals and working to understand and develop a sense of pride in who I am.  

When you reflect on your life to this point, what are you most proud of?  

I am most proud of graduating high school with four years of highest honor roll and being able to attend college in the fall. I am also really proud of my YouTube channel where I can express myself and creativity with video editing.  

What advice can you give to other young autistic adults who are entering into a new stage of life?  

Identify your strengths and utilize them to navigate the world around you. Embrace your differences – it can pave the road to innovation. You are capable of achieving anything you want in life. Find your own path, and finally, be patient and give yourself grace.  

What are some things you wish typical people understood better about people with autism?  

We desire a lot of things that neurotypicals do such as being included, making friendships and achieving our goals. I wish that neurotypical people understood how isolated we feel at times because of how we are perceived. We desire patience and understanding.  

What things about yourself do you want to work on?  

I want to work on being an active listener, having more patience to make the right friendships, being confident, having discernment, critical thinking skills and having acceptance of who I am growing into as an adult.  

Lindsey W. and her family

What’s the next challenge/s in this new phase of life you plan to tackle?  

The most immediate challenge will be adjusting to life as a college student and living independently. I am hoping to successfully achieve my degree in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in early childhood development. I also aim to continue expanding my YouTube channel to reach as many subscribers as possible.

Can you talk about some of the resources, therapies, etc., that have helped you since being diagnosed?  

Some of the resources that helped me include speech therapy, occupational therapy, play group therapy, behavioral therapy and friendship group.  

When facing new challenges and life changes, how do you cope with the anxieties that can come along with that?  

Some of the things that I do to cope with my anxieties include listening to music to help me relax, doing what I enjoy such as video editing, utilizing my fidgets, relying on my support system, and staying focused on positive thoughts.  

What is your connection to Autism Speaks and how has the organization touched your life or the lives of others in the Autism community?  

I’ve used the website to read articles, seek advice on transitioning to adulthood, and explore success stories of people on the spectrum. The organization has been critical to the autism community, as it has served as a great resource of information, brought awareness and advocacy for services, and created a sense of belonging.  

The story shared above represents the experience, views and perspectives of the individual(s) highlighted. We aim to share stories across the spectrum and throughout the life span, but the information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals.