by Lonnie Pacelli
In December 2015 our son Trevor, who was diagnosed with autism at age 5, graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Film and Media Studies. Despite the challenges and all of the change Trevor endured in his college experience, he graduated with a 3.5 GPA with very little assistance. He also experienced living by himself, living with nice and not-so-nice roommates, internships, and a summer job as a photographer at a boys camp in North Carolina. He gained a tremendous amount of life experience and learned a ton about himself as a person. His graduation in December put an exclamation point on a very rich college experience. But college is only one race in the marathon called life; his next race - employment - was yet to start.
By Trevor Pacelli
It’s a challenge for anybody: finding an interest in a topic with no prior experience to. I mean, if you are not planning on ever becoming an engineer or accountant in the future, then where could you find any interest in math? While it can be a problem for many people, it is even more of a challenge for those with Autism. Because I am Autistic, my mind is much more geared toward very specific areas of interest, making it harder for me to leave those areas and open my mind to anything else. The same is true for a lot of students on the Autism spectrum who are required to take classes that are far out of their league of interest. As a result, their grades may suffer and they may be received poorly by their teachers. But I have found an easy solution to helping myself find interest in a subject that is juxtaposed from my subject of interest.
By Trevor Pacelli
As of yesterday, I moved into my new apartment at Arizona State University, which will be my first time living with other roommates I did not know before. So far I am very anxious to see how it’s all going to benefit my social communication skills. The good thing is that I already have experience living by myself in a dorm, so I am already comfortable being away from my parents.
By Patty Pacelli
Our son Trevor was diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism in kindergarten. From very early on, we noticed some things about Trevor that were not typical in other children his age. His ability to focus on tasks was extraordinary. He was (and still is) very schedule-oriented. His reliability in doing household chores without being reminded was a thing most parents only dream of. Now a junior in college, Trevor continues to learn to leverage his strengths to help him build relationships, get good grades, and prepare himself as a functioning member of society.
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.