A degree of happiness
18/05/2012 8 Comments
Readers of My Autistic Life, I have been insolent of late and have failed to write any new articles for two months and a day. I apologize, but I have good reason for doing so and I hope you will agree too.
I have reached a degree of happiness in completing an actual degree course at Southampton Solent University.
A BA (Hons) Sports Journalism degree. A chance to wear a mortar board and a gown will hopefully come along at a later point in 2012 if I get the marks that I require to pass the course and graduate, but I have worked incredibly hard for the last couple of months to get all of my assignments completed.
This feels like an achievement, and a sign that anybody can achieve in life if they apply a little bit of effort and determination to a task.
Whether you have a learning difficulty, this being a blanket term for a wide group of disabilities which Asperger’s Syndrome could easily fit into, in my opinion, or whether you just feel a little uncertain about actually achieving a goal that you have always dreamed of reaching, always push yourself.
I have found that anything is possible and though this may seem like a dose of self-indulgence, I just want to instill a little of what I am feeling at the moment into an article which may offer hope to the families of children with autism who may wonder what the future brings.
Praise has been offered on social networking websites as I have shared the positive and negative experiences that have shaped my life to this day and although I am thankful for what is said, it’s not something which is fished for.
Asperger’s is something that can hold a person back, but I don’t think that it should be an excuse to sit back and give up on achieving something.
I have pushed myself to get through university and it has been extremely tough.
Three years of assignments, exams and for me, the biggest test of moving to Southampton, Hampshire, a city that is 172 miles (277km) from my home in Lichfield, Staffordshire were all challenges that got taken on as a choice because the reward was worth the inevitable struggles that laid ahead.
And struggle I did, but it has ultimately proved to be worthwhile.
After completing over half of my course, having reached the second semester of my second year, my nature of trying to work as much as I could in both an academic and employed sense had a dangerous effect on my health.
Anxiety and depression set in as my insistence on completing a degree, earning money and presenting a radio show for Radio Sonar, a student radio station that broadcasts from the student union of Southampton Solent, proved to be too much for me.
An eight-month break from education and the stress of studying was enough to calm me down though, and finally finishing my course is testament to the desire which has been felt in finishing something that I started.
Focusing on graduating and achieving a goal of studying at university was my salvation in going through a tough time.
My tenacity got me through the journey and I believe that others can follow in my path.
Please don’t settle for bad news when you are told that your child has a disability like autism or to be more precise, Asperger’s.
It’s not something that can hold a person back and although the journey may become a little more difficult, every push to make sure that a disabled person can live a full and happy life may finally reap amazing rewards.