Patrick, 17.

My name is Patrick Elander and I’m 17yrs old. I was diagnosed with Autism back in year 9 in 2015.
I felt good when I was diagnosed as this means I’m learning my way and had no more anxiety about going to school, I’m proud and smart. Autism is a good thing, I know who I am now.

In my spare time I love gaming and my animals. I have a ferret named Desmond, 2 dogs named Daisy and Magoo, Scorpions and tropical fish, but my passion is REPTILES! I have a snake named Monty (a Darwin Carpet Python), a Southern Angle-Headed Dragon and a private breeder of Geckos.

My I CAN Network support is Chris, he is a great mentor, and I love speaking and mentoring the younger kids on the Spectrum about reptiles like I did at the Autism Expo last year.

I have great Memories and loved my primary school but had high anxiety when I was in the unknown or change. Grade 6 was difficult, but the teachers were understanding even though I wasn’t diagnosed.
My Secondary School I love, I did have anxiety from year 7 to some of year 9 and couldn’t go to school due to being over sensory. But then I got diagnosed my anxiety levels went down, teachers put strategies in place for me and my supports understand Autism, this makes me enjoy schooling in mainstream and now I’m doing senior year 12 VCAL.

When I finish year 12 I’m going to do a certified snake catching course and a certified agriculture course in bee keeping, private reptile breeding and educate younger children the importance of reptiles.

My favourite part of school, is going to school and being educated the way I learn, and of course hanging with my friends.

The I CAN Network creates a world that embraces Patrick’s strengths. We need your support to continue creating a society that empowers young people on the Autism Spectrum. Join us by donating to our next venture: holding one of our acclaimed camps in Queensland.
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