Meet Yadira C.

Yadira C., 26

Don’t let anyone make you feel insecure and never let the words and actions of bullies control your life.
Yadira C.

I was diagnosed with autism when I was 5 years old. At the time, the diagnosis came as a surprise to my family because I was in a regular kindergarten classroom with typical students. It wasn’t until I started struggling to concentrate and falling behind that my parents realized something was wrong. They could see that my behavior was different from my sisters and brothers and set up a parent-teacher conference and took me to see multiple doctors. This is when my diagnosis came about.  

Throughout my childhood, I was in and out of regular and special education classrooms. I had much more success in smaller, specialized classrooms, but some schools didn’t provide that. My grades suffered and I had trouble making friends. I was bullied every day and I just felt as though I had nobody to turn to for support and nobody who truly understood me or my autism. I often had to rely on consoling myself and talking to myself to keep moving forward. It was a dark time for me.  

Just before the pandemic, I met a man who is accepting of my condition and it has led to a beautiful relationship. We both love food, pets similar music but best of all— he got me into bicycling. From 10 to 20 to 30 to now 40 miles, we have the best time bicycling all over Southern California. I am happier and more confident these days than I’ve ever been in my life. And I embrace my autism with peace and love. 

I’d like to use this platform during National Women’s Month to encourage other girls and women on the spectrum not to let others discourage you. Don’t let anyone make you feel insecure and never let the words and actions of bullies control your life. Always smile, laugh, have fun, be yourself, be kind, be thoughtful of others and be loving. Surround yourself with good, positive people and things will fall into place.  

Read more about Yadira’s story in this Q&A:  

Yadira C.

What does having autism mean to you?    

Having autism means learning in your own way and your own pace. Fitting in and making friends was always a struggle for me growing up. 

How were you received by friends and peers when you revealed you were on the spectrum?   

At first, they felt sorry for me because they didn’t understand. But it was still very hard to make and keep friends, so loneliness and depression were part of my childhood. Thankfully, my big family was there for me even if it was hard for them to understand why I was the way I was as well.   

In what areas of your life has your autism helped you excel?   

Autism has made me humble. I've always been told that I'm a very nice person and I'm proud of that. 

What services and supports have you received since being diagnosed?  

I had a therapist from 2016-2020.  It was helpful to talk to someone about my condition and things that have happened to me throughout my life.  She talked to me a lot about being independent as I was entering my twenties.   

What is your connection to Autism Speaks and how has the organization provided support?

I've been following Autism Speaks since 2017 for inspiration and to learn more about what others with my condition are going through. It always makes me feel comfort when I know I'm not alone. I haven't volunteered or participated in Walks yet, but I'm encouraged and inspired to do more this year. My connection with Autism Speaks has really helped me embrace my autism over the last couple of years. They make me feel stronger about myself and I'm so much happier now that I'm getting more involved. I hope I can help and inspire more children with my stories.  

What is your connection to Autism Speaks and how has the organization provided support? 

I've been following Autism Speaks since 2017 for inspiration and to learn more about what others with my condition are going through. It always makes me feel comfort when I know I'm not alone. I haven't volunteered or participated in Walks yet, but I'm encouraged and inspired to do more this year. My connection with Autism Speaks has really helped me embrace my autism over the last couple of years. They make me feel stronger about myself and I'm so much happier now that I'm getting more involved. I hope I can help and inspire more children with my stories.   

Yadira with her bike

What are you most proud of?   

Towards the end of 2019, I met my boyfriend. When the pandemic started in 2020, he got me into bicycling. I did really well and we rode a lot! Recently, on February 12th, 2022, we completed the Tour de Palm Springs (52 miles, my longest ride and first sponsored ride) and I also did a fundraiser for Autism Society Inland Empire and raised $550.   

What are a few of your personal goals? 

I want to volunteer for autism causes and find a job that helps children with autism. 

I also want to continue getting better in bicycling and complete a 100-mile ride.   

I want to travel more to meet more interesting people in this big, beautiful world.    

What are five words that best describe you?  

Kind. Caring. Foodie. Cyclist. Animal lover. 

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.

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