Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Introductions are a strange thing. They are needed to get to know someone, but I do not think anyone is ever really sure what to say to them. How far do you go? Do you tell a life story or your accomplishments? They are not only a requirement for business but also to embark on a journey with a new companion. It is with that I offer my own salutations:
Hello, My name is Daniel.
I am 36 years old from Harrisburg, and thru my life so far I have done a little bit of a lot. However, before we explore the present, we must first understand the origin.
It was a windy day in New York when my mother met my father…no…I think that might be going too far back. Moving forward a bit, my family moved to Pennsylvania when I was in 2nd grade. School was always rough, and I was thrown out of Catholic school in 6th grade after I made a nun so mad she threw a chair at me. Looking back, I still take a little bit of pride in that. After that, I tried a few other schools, with similar, albeit less projectile, results. Eventually, I wound up being homeschooled. I wasn’t diagnosed with Autism until I was 18, mostly because there were not any resources growing up, there were not really any support groups and even the local schools didn’t really allow you to attend programs unless you were a part of the school. Most of what I learned about coping with my autism came from trial and error.
I got my GED, and went to HACC, double majoring in Computer Science and Culinary Arts. I have a firm belief that if you can fix a computer or cook a good meal, you can go anywhere you want and have a job. For the most part that has served me quite well. College didn’t work out so well the first time around, as I was so interested in the social side of things, other aspects of college life, like going to class, escaped me. During my tenure, I also realized that if I was going to do something, I might as well go out and do it. A decision that has led me to wonderful places, experiences, and work across the US and around the world. From teaching and cooking in China to repairing computer servers in Fiji to a little bit of stand-up, my autism has been a wonderful tool that has allowed me to do wonderful things.
So now here we stand. I am currently attending Southern New Hampshire University for graphic design to finish up a degree that I promised myself long ago. I play the guitar and the violin, as well as doing voice-over work. I currently am in the process of starting a fine art printing business. This begins to tap the surface. I do a little bit of a lot.
It has not been an easy journey. The cause of my gifts has also, in many ways been the same thing that puts the brakes on my plans. Sometimes through my own actions, sometimes not. I am still learning a lot about myself, and how I, as a person with Autism, experience the world and thru my own eyes, hopefully, share that message.
Now that the introductions and social familiarities have been made, we have a lot to learn about and from each other and the world around us. I have many stories and experiences I would like to share and it is my hope that with this introduction, we will embark on a new journey together and emerge on the other side better people for it.