Living with Autism: My Experience as a Child Support Professional

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Hello! So this summer has been extremely crazy, gratifying, stressful, but all in all very memorable. In my last post I talked about two upcoming interviews I have which I will definitely write about my experiences to both schools, but today I thought I would talk about the summer job I had this summer. I worked as a child support professional through United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and SW Washington. Honestly, this experience was the most fun, informative, and special job I have ever had. Here’s why:

I worked for a boy that lived 3 minutes from me. I love helping others and this job involved exactly that. I won’t say his name for privacy purposes, but he is eleven and has autism. He is mostly nonverbal, but he is incredibly social. He is lively, energetic, funny, and very loving. We went to three camps together, watched movies, and spent endless hours at parks. I got to know him as a friend and as a really special person.

I learned a lot from this experience. Although the boy I worked for was incredibly special to me, there were times of frustration and aggression, and during those times, I saw the bad that occurs from having a child with autism. Autism is such an interesting developmental disability, and I am really grateful that I have been exposed to it because I understand it more, and I am definitely more caring to those who may have some form of autism or other developmental disability. I think it is so important for “typical” kids to be more informed about developmental disabilities especially those that occur in children in order to provide an inclusive community. I learned that our world needs more people like the boy I worked with to integrate themselves into society, so that others know about developmental disabilities and care for those who have them.

I am so grateful for this summer! I made friends with a special boy and his family. I feel like their home is my second home and I am so grateful for them.

xoxo,

Jessica

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