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Perseverance means the persistence in doing something despite any challenges and or delay in achieving success. I work hard to persevere through challenges with anxiety, misunderstandings, and confusion that come my way every day. 


When you finish something that was hard to complete, like a book or a puzzle, you feel good about the accomplishment. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling?


Just yesterday I persevered and obtained my driver’s license. I did not pass on my first attempt because I went too fast. I was anxious and I just wanted to get it over with. Afterwards, I felt bad and believed I might never be able to drive on my own. Thanks to my supportive family, I worked hard at my driving skills. Early in the morning, I would get to go practice driving with my mom until we were both satisfied.


This time, when it came time for that test again, I felt relaxed and confident. But this time was very different. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the testing process was altered so that the instructor and I could practice social distancing. The instructors at Shield Driving School were so patient with me. They explained the changes really well and helped me stay calm and confident the whole time. My parallel parking was perfect, then I drove through the closed course exactly as they instructed me to. I was anxious the whole time because this was very different than what I prepared for – I wasn’t prepared for this change, but I reminded myself that a lot of things are changing due to COVID-19 and just kept going, nice and slow….


In the end, I was able to achieve my long-time personal goal of getting my driver’s license. I’ve been able to persevere in a lot of things lately such as making friends, completing my finals (all on-line!), and keeping up with changes at my job at a nursing home.  But THIS achievement; this milestone, this giant step towards independence – it felt great.   


Sure, I didn’t pass on the first try. And that is OK, nobody is perfect. That is what makes us human.  I wouldn’t give up my autism for anything in the world. I’m able to persevere through the struggles of autism every single day. Who can ask for more than that?


Until next time,




Sarah Matincheck

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