Friends and Understanding Makes a Difference for Student With a Difference

May 12, 2018

School can seem like a great place so young people can work, hang out with friends, and look forward to the future. 

But to kids with autism, it can sometimes be scary. They intend to sometimes be alone, and they will try their best to socialize, but it can get awkward fast. 

This has happened to me as a kid and still to this day. I do socialize with a lot of people in my high school, but sometimes it gets awkward even when I don’t realize it. Some people will walk away from me and wonder if I’m strange or not, while others will accept the way I am and the way I act. 

It’s hard to be at school when you have autism because sometimes you won’t be able to communicate normally as anybody else would. It happens to me, but a lot of people have not only gotten used to it, but they have also accepted me for the way I am, and who I am. I make short films, and everybody loves my creativity and my autism. 

Autism Awareness Month may have ended recently, but it doesn’t mean we still can’t care for people who have autism. We don’t want to have them as outcasts. 

I don’t feel like an outcast, and it’s because I’ve been so loved for the way I am by so many. At Richmond High School, I’ve been figuring out that I had autism, because as a kid I couldn’t figure out why I did most of the awkward stuff I did in public. I soon realized my actions and decided to figure out what made me the way I am.

Then in 11th grade, I met a girl named Autumn, who also had autism, and we both had the same interests, especially ’80s films and old cars. She then graduated, but I remembered what it was like to have met someone that had the same disability as I did. But I wasn’t alone, for I still had friends that knew me very well, and knew about my autism. 

And because of all that has happened in my life, I made a difference because of my difference. 

Ian Chandler is a senior at Richmond High School. He plans to one day become a film director and producer.