I’m Jenna, a young adult on the Autism Spectrum and future graphic designer. I’m highly interested in all different types of supercars and sports cars and I’m obsessed with Transformers. I’m also someone who loves to draw anime and cars. I hope to one day design my own car company and create my very own cars, and maybe one day even own a couple types of cars that I like, such as a Corvette or Ferrari.
When I was younger, other kids thought I was really ‘strange’ and everyone thought that I wouldn’t make any friends. I still feel isolated here and there, but it’s mainly in classroom environments when everyone is allowed to have a chat. Most girls think I’m weird and I don’t talk much. If I’m allowed, I like to listen to music and draw to vent out my feelings of loneliness. Sometimes, I like to imagine one of my favourite characters from any series I like is right next to me. Though, some teachers ask students to group up with me. I feel much better if a teacher picks out who I work with, as long as they know what I’m okay with and what will drive me nuts. I’ve met some awesome people who have now been my friends ever since I was in second grade!
To prove people wrong, I feel like there’s nothing better than to put your skills to the test. Most girls my age talk about Justin Bieber and various other modern day pop stars. I on the other hand, love talking about cars and planes and sci-fi movies. I push myself to work hard and get noticed in the classroom to prove that if I, an Autistic girl who has no common interest of her classmates, can do various things that others thought she couldn’t, then it’s time to get rid of the barriers created by negative expectations.
The I CAN Network has helped me grow closer to other people in my school who have the same sort of mindset as me. Of course, none of my achievements were done without support. It’s just impossible. With the various camps and networks across a variety of schools, the I CAN Network is where I met my most closest friends and became a mentee of many.
The I CAN Network has helped a lot of people like me feel included by asking them to join in and have fun. It is one of the only places where I feel safe to just be me and to let every little doubt just crumble away like a cookie. The I CAN Network doesn’t judge anyone by their disability and makes sure you’re doing your very best to be you, and that’s why I love being a part of it so much.
Autism is like this little world only various people have really gotten a glimpse into. It’s also like this chain that is keeping the world intact. I mean, various famous minds are now being said to be Autistic, and they are the minds that helped shape our world.
The I CAN Network ensures that Jenna’s school benefits from embracing her Autism. We need your help. Join us by donating or giving monthly. Together, we can create employment opportunities for people on the Autism Spectrum, and can support schools and workplaces to celebrate their individual strengths.