Taking initiative

A few months after my 17th birthday and that “transitions to adulthood” meeting I told you about, I walked into our school library and talked with the wrestling coach who is also an awesome librarian.  He loves books and wants kids to love them too.  I told him that I wanted to do a lunch-time presentation about autism and invite my friends and anyone else who might come to hear me.  He was totally supportive and set me up with a date and time.  When I told my mom, she almost fell over with surprise.  She realized that I couldn’t just stand there and improvise the way I had in middle school.  This was going to be a big project and, as always, much of the work was going to be done by her.  And she was already up to her ears in writing her book—she had started in on that within days of my 17th birthday party.

After mom recovered from her surprise, she said, “I’m proud of you for taking such initiative.  If you want to do this, then I’ll help you and we will do it well.”  A few weeks later, some other teachers realized that my planned presentation was scheduled to happen one day before the school’s big “Multicultural & Diversity Day”.  They thought that, since I was going to talk about autism, my presentation would be a perfect fit, and so they invited me to be one of the “guest speakers”.  Wow.  This was going to be big.  My mom got all excited and told me, “This should be celebrated—you’ll be making your debut as an advocate and speaker,” and she almost squashed me with a happy bear hug.

Telling a joke during my debut presentation…

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