Grape to Meet You: Kim Noonan, Photographer

How did you first come across the I Can Network?

My mother works with kids who have different abilities, one day she went to a conference that had Chris Varney as a keynote speaker. After hearing Chris talk she came home raving on about Chris and his I Can Network Idea.

What made you want to get involved?

I guess I just fell into the network, I attended the first adult’s camp and right off the bat I didn’t know what to say or do. I have always found it hard to fit in with groups, so the whole camp I would just offer to do jobs that didn’t require much connection with the others.

So when the next camp came around mum pushed me out the door and I did the same thing just avoided conversations to do whatever job would make the camp keep going for the others. I don’t really know what I did at both camps but since then I get invites to help the network and I just say yes because feeling useful and wanted is the best feeling I have had since diagnosis.

What exactly is your role at the I Can Network?

I am the type of person to offer help when people need it. I always just show up to I Can events expecting to be given any task and am just happy to be allowed to do it to the best of my ability. I don’t have an official title, although my main role has been an I Can Network Camps/Events Photographer. But I guess if you were to give me one I would be the executive assistant to the entire network.

So you’re a photographer, right? How long have you been into that?

You could call me a Photographer although I am only self-taught and my skills are underdeveloped. I have been dabbling in the art of taking pictures since I was about 12 but I have only been really serious with my photography for about 5 years.

What does an I Can attitude mean to you?

An I Can attitude to me has always been the one question I have avoided since joining the network, for this question means I have to look at a glass that has water in it. A positive person says it’s half full, a negative says half empty; I look at the glass and ask why are we not just drinking the water?

So what does this I Can attitude mean to me? I think it means that I have to stop questioning why we are not drinking the water and think it’s half full so let’s fill it up all the way.

What’s been the highlight of your time with I Can so far?

This is hard for me to answer. As the network is so new and whatever I say now would remain in my mind as a comparison to the future opportunities and I don’t want that, for I feel without a comparison every moment in the network can become a highlight.

Do you have a message for our readers?

Autism may mean a lot of closed doors in life but we have been given the gift to find all the open windows.

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