My 10-year-old daughter, Uncle, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and it was scary and difficult for the whole family. I had no idea what it meant to have autism because I did not know anyone with autism.
But Uncle is an amazing child. She is a great dancer and she often performs for the occupants of a nursing home. She is also a part of a competitive dance team. She is so friendly, loving, and funny.
We enjoy traveling as a family, exploring nature, going to science activities, and walking the dog every afternoon. She has made us believe in her abilities. She wants to be a veterinarian, dancer, and math teacher when she grows up. Autism has caused us many sleepless nights or tiring days, but it has also taught us, hope, and patience.
I am part of The Answer Inc. Autism Awareness and Support Agency, where I serve as Program Coordinator. I am very passionate about this role. Now, I encourage families that are in the same situation I was in. I connect families with services, and I coordinate Spectrum University, a tutorial program that teaches reading, writing, math, and social and life skills for people with disabilities.
All panel members were friendly and willing to elaborate on concepts for which I needed further explanation. I felt proud that I was part of this process. The scientific community has devoted to addressing the needs of autistic individuals and understanding how autism affects the whole family.
I am grateful for the responsibility and hard work that this community has put into researching autism-related studies.