Autism Awareness Month - April 12
Throughout April we will be sharing a different story each day to help raise Autism Awareness and highlight how peoples' lives have been touched by Autism and Autism Queensland in different ways.
My name is Aaron Naumann. I am 22 and I am proud to be Autistic.
I was diagnosed in the early 90's, during a time where such disorders were not fully understood. My parents sought professional help, and they determined that I should be enrolled into Special Schools. As my family moved around a lot during the early years, I was enrolled into several schools. I was initially enrolled into Logan City Special School, followed by Geebung Special School.
My parents decided that in Year 1, I was to be enrolled into the State School system. From Year 1 to Year 5, I went to 4 different schools that did not have any special education programs. By Year 6, my Autism was becoming out of control due to the lack of assistance from schools without the proper facilities. During the first 6 years of school, I had extreme difficulty making any form of relationship, and I struggled with learning. My social skills were non-existent.
Education Queensland decided to transfer me to a school that had Special Education facilities, and the road to recovery began. I was enrolled into Dakabin State School where they started to teach me basic social skills. I completed Year 7, and then went to Pine Rivers State High School for Secondary education. This school also had a Special Education Unit. I was assigned an excellent Case Manager, who succeeded in helping me.
The road during high school was tough; however my teachers and my parents did not give up. By Year 10, I had the ability to make friends. I continued through to senior, and I graduated Year 12 with a School Service Award, Merit in English Communication and I also won the ICT Bursary award for that year.
I have never forgotten what I learned and I have never forgotten the sacrifices the teachers made to ensure that I succeeded.
I then went onto TAFE for a year to further my IT skills. After that, I had several jobs, but then I found my dream job at a Records Management company, where I have spent the last 3 years. I have already received two workplace commendations, and been promoted.
I have many friends that are aware of my Aspie status, and they do not even notice. Most of these friends were from my High school days, and I still catch up with them.
Parents of Aspies should never lose faith in there child, and never lose faith in their abilities as a parent. Aspies do require a lot of attention, however they will triumph over their limitations and conquer the world of thought, emotion and social skills; given persistent guidance.
I am proud to be an Aspie!