I CAN Network is all about peer mentoring; by people on the spectrum, for people on the spectrum. Today we’re sharing the story of one of our marvelous mentors, Adam Walton, and how he overcame his fears to get to where he is today. Enjoy!
– Max Williams, Editor
“I did not discover that I was a card carrying member of the unique and wonderful tribe that is the autism spectrum until relatively late. I was a 24 year old recent university graduate when I discovered the answers to the questions I had been asking all along.
There have been many occasions during my stay on this shimmering blue orb when fear has gripped me like a vice. Fear can prevent you from moving forwards, from achieving your lofty goals.
One thing which prepared me very well for the adult world was when my mother enrolled my reluctant 15 year old self in a weekly drama club. Drama, I believe, is a great way for people on the spectrum to come out of their shell. To inhabit another character. All of my inhibitions, all of my anxieties, disappeared like a distant horse rider over the horizon, when I got up there in character, on stage. This shy, unassuming, timid weakling became a powerhouse, a lion.
People, after live shows, would tell me how excellent my voice projection and acting was. It was really positive reinforcement, and also wasn’t too bad for the old ego, either! I was so scared the first time I got up there on stage, but in subsequent shows, it became second nature to me.
Public speaking is daunting for anyone, and I still have my moments, but at the age of 28, I obtained a teaching degree, and public speaking became a daily part of my life! I never could have imagined myself doing that kind of work. If I can overcome my fears, you most certainly can too.”
By Adam Walton