Hi there!
I’m Benjamin Tarasewicz, I’m 17 years old and have high-functioning autism.  I can’t wait to celebrate my 18th birthday next fall and then to go vote for the first time.  Now, quickly, a bit of background info:  I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 ¼ and people would say that I was a classic, textbook case.  My loss of eye-contact and language shortly after turning one year old, self-stimulatory and occasionally self-injurious behaviors, lack of social development—all these things were present when I was very little.  Now I’m nearly an adult and I still deal with many of these aspects of autism, although I do have excellent language skills.  In fact, I love to talk and I’m so thankful that I didn’t remain nonverbal because I love being around people. I also love being on stage, telling people about living with autism and breaking through barriers.

Me now, almost 18

Age 2, clearly autistic

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