Meet Teresa!

Autism Awareness Print. Puzzle Heart

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Hi! My name is Teresa Cardona, and I am twenty-four years old. I am writing about my story and how I cope with my Autism diagnosis. I was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism in 2022, shortly after my mother’s passing in the month of February. Naturally, dealing with the loss of my mom was very overwhelming for me, but I managed. Since then, I’ve had to rebuild my life from scratch.

As of August 2022, I now live in a residential home, and I’ve had the opportunity to do so much more in the community. I’m involved with the Special Olympics of Butler County, Pennsylvania. I attend group therapies as well as individual therapy sessions. I also attend multiple community events and I’m involved in a self-advocacy group for the community home program in which I reside. Additionally, I’ve also gotten the chance to job shadow at several different locations such as… Steele’s Brushes and Ceramic’s, Butler Beauty Academy, and Slippery Rock University’s Child Care Center. It was through job shadowing that I realized that I wanted to go to college, which I have recently applied to Butler County Community College and have been accepted! I will be attending college in the fall of 2023 with an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-4) so that I can pursue a career in working with children.

To anyone that feels like you’re not going to make it in this world, believe me when I say I know what that feels like. I know it’s not easy, but life isn’t easy. You’re going to have some obstacles and you might get knocked down a few times, but it’s up to you to decide if you’re gonna get back up again. We are not defined by our disability; we are more than that. We can do anything we put our minds to. My advice to anyone dealing with an Autism diagnosis is to never ever give up.

Teresa Cardona

Teresa is in her early 20s and looking forward to blogging about her journey with newly diagnosed autism. Within the past few years, she’s had to rebuild her entire life from scratch and navigate everything very differently. She recently had the opportunity to job shadow at different locations and has been inspired to attend college and one day work with children. Teresa is eager for this new chapter in her life and wants to inspire others with autism to never give up, despite whatever obstacles life may throw their way.

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