Autism has shaped me in many different ways

If your best friend was the one that was picked out of 160 children to have autism, would you volunteer to take their place? “I Volunteer.” That’s what I would say. Why? Because I love living with autism. It’s helped shape me and it has given me the abilities that I have. It may have also caused me hurt and pain but all things can do that. Even just a simple cold can cause us pain. All this pain is for a reason: To heal us and to push us through the hard times. One thing remains for sure — I would volunteer.

Autism has shaped me in many different ways. Autism has shaped how I’ve gone through school and some dark times. I’ve become a writer. I can express myself through my writing and also through my art that I draw. I have my music that the world has given me to push me through the scary times and fun times. I have my friends when I need them. If I didn’t have autism, I would have never met these friends, have these songs or these abilities. Sometimes a huge problem can be a huge skill.

Autism is present in one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls in the United States. Researchers have found out that autism is more common in boys than girls. Many people don’t realize they have autism. It’s hard to know if you have autism because of the symptoms. The symptoms are all different for everyone and mine are different from my friend’s, but we are similar.

Many people have let their diagnosis stop them from doing what they want in life, but I will not. I already know what classes I’m going to take for the rest of my high school years. I know what college I’m going to go to. It’s called Lakeland University and is near Howards Grove, Wisconsin. I plan on taking a couple years there and then go to their sister college in Tokyo, Japan. When I turn 18, I plan to work on my credit and then build a tiny house for my mom and me.

Autism has helped me grow as a person. It’s taught me more than I thought I could learn. I would never trade my life away for anything (well maybe for a life in Pallet Town from Pokémon), but I would never make a change in anything that has happened. Yes, I’ve been bullied a lot. Yes, other kids abused me, but this life has given me things I could not imagine. Like I said, would you volunteer for your best friend if they were to be the 1 in 160 children to get autism? I volunteer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Angel O’Connor is a 17-year-old sophomore at Marquette Senior High School. She loves Pokemon and writing fan fiction.