In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the growing number of college students on the spectrum.
It was in college, through a diversity retreat, I learned precisely what it means to believe in social justice and to be an advocate beyond the autism and disability communities, but to everyone outside of getting accommodations, or inside the bubble of disability. I learned that one voice can truly make a difference. I learned that my voice was one that my campus needed. I wrote op-eds for the student newspaper, I was a guest speaker to education and disability studies courses, and I continued writing. I was letting my voice be heard all over the place. I graduated from the University of Florida and still get emails that the advocacy work I began is continuing without me, that the next crop of Gators is keeping the legacy alive. For a young woman who had the odds of graduation stacked against her, I was able to do more than survive - I made an impact.
I am in law school at the University of Miami now. I am watching myself do a lot of the same things that worked for me, in a new city, but closer to home. I am watching myself plan my schedules, find time to do what I would like, work around dining options, and also be a "real adult" with an apartment. The statistics are still not in my favor. However, the outside doubt and the internal doubt is much smaller than when I left for college. I've done it before; who is stopping me from thriving once again?