So far I have to admit that my second year at the University of Waterloo has been a blast. It has been wonderful in several ways and I’d like to elaborate on one of the ways in this post. Basically, it’s been wonderful because I’ve been gaining control over my activities. I’m becoming more and more conscious about what I’m truly passionate about and following through on these passions.
What am I passionate about? Well, for anyone who knows me, my passions lie in math, philosophy, fiction writing, and autistic advocacy. Much of this blog will tell on this last passion with autistic advocacy. In the past several months I must admit that my passion for autistic advocacy has been rapidly growing. Why now of all time? Why has it been growing now in this time of my life?
I think part of the answer lies in finding other autistic advocates out there, autistics who have dealt with similar experiences to me. Before then I felt so alone and didn’t appreciate myself fully as being autistic. When I discovered autism blogs right after I graduated from Acadia University, I had an epiphany that I didn’t need to change myself as much as I thought I did. Thus I decided to go ahead and start my own blog this one.
When I entered my masters program in pure math, however, a lot of my interest in autistic advocacy left me temporarily due to the struggles that I had in my first term of my masters. That was a difficult time, but I have since improved and have been on my merry way ever since with hopes of graduating this spring and moving on to a PhD.
In the winter my passion for autism advocacy returned and I updated this blog more often. I was hoping that the disability office at Waterloo would open up a support group for students with autism. They said they had plans for one, but had gotten busy with other things. It all came to a head this summer when I became tired and frustrated and decided I had to do something about it. This wasn’t just the case for autism advocacy, but writing as well. I couldn’t find a writing group in Waterloo. The closest one I could find was in Guelph and while I succeeded in bicycling over there I became too tired to bicycle back and had to have my father’s cousin who lives there drive me back.
Thus I decided to take matters into my own hands and immediately emailed the disability office about starting the autism support group and told them that I was willing to take initiative and lead it. I can’t recall I’ve done something like this before. I was founding something that I was totally passionate in. I also contacted the Autism Waterloo Organisation and told them about my interest in getting involved. Neither of these things got developed any further over the summer.
Yet so far this fall, things have been developing. A writing group has formed. Not by me, but by someone else in Waterloo. We’ve had one meeting so far and it looks great. I’ve also met with the Autism Waterloo Organisation and have agreed to prepare for a day in November where I’ll be speaking to parents of autistic children my personal story along with one or two other autistic adults. I have also met with the disability office at the university and we have put in plans to start and autism support group that I would lead. I must admit it felt a bit weird. They really were treating me like a leader, asking me all these questions of how I wanted to run it like if there were going to be social outings (which I said yes to and we elaborated upon) and whether I wanted the disability staff there. I answered that I’d like to have them there some of the time, but not all of the time. It was great! I felt power like I never had before. For once I was beginning to make a difference in not only my life, but the lives of others with autism.
It’s certainly a wonderful feeling to behold.