Aspergers Syndrome Awareness
Asperger’s Syndrome Awareness
By Mike DiMauro, Blog ContributorLIKE and SHARE Mike DiMauro YouTube Channel
Meet our friend and Blog Contributor, Mike DiMauro
Back when I was a child, I grew up in an environment and I felt left out of things, including information that pertained to me. I grew up going to different schools. I grew up feeling different than the normal kids that were in my neighborhood. I grew up for the passion for camping in my camping club. I grew up thinking why am I different than everyone else? I grew up thinking why do I do things differently than everyone else? I grew up thinking why does nobody understand what I go through in the world? Why did it took me a long time before I could start talking? I grew up wondering if there were other kids that were like me and act the way that I do. After being tested several times as a kid in Boston, Worcester and Springfield (MA), the doctors could not find what was wrong with me. The doctors thought that I had late developmental. It was frustrating for not only my parents, but for me as well, because I could not nail down what was wrong with me. I felt that there was something wrong with my life and it was a mystery to me. All of that would change in February 2006 when I was tested by Dr. Mark Elin at Baystate Medicial Center in Springfield. When the results came back, he diagnosed me with Asperger’s Syndrome. My mom looked up the information beforehand and figured it out as well. When I first found out the news, I was trying to figure what this Asperger’s Syndrome was. I asked a coworker at the time if he thought if I think outside the box and he had no idea what I was talking about. In 2007, I heard about a guy named John Elder Robison that grew up near me in Amherst, MA that wrote a book called “Look Me In The Eye” when he spoke at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. I contacted him on Facebook and he helped me out as well with the information I needed at the time.
My journey with Autism Speaks began in 2008, around the same time that I was getting ready to do the Disney College Program in Orlando, FL. I signed up for a team for the Orlando walk and the Western New England walk. A friend of mine helped me with the Western New England walk and I did the Orlando walk. I felt that the walks were great, but there was something missing in my life. I wanted to get more involved with organizations, such as Autism Speaks to help spread awareness of Autism to the families affected and to the adults that are affected as well. I also felt that they could help me figure out how to live my life. In July 2010, after I moved to Florida pernamently, I got an invitation for the kickoff party that the Orlando walk did. I went to and met some great people there and I asked if I could be on the committee for the walk and the rest is history! In November 2010, I enjoyed working at my first walk as a committee member and inspired me to do more with the organization. In 2011, I volunteered at the Palm Beach, Tampa, Southwest Florida and Volusia County walks, in addition to being on the committee for the Orlando walk. In September 2011, I gave a speech at the kickoff party at the Orlando walk and that inspired me to do my speech online and to do a series on my YouTube channel called “My Life With Asperger’s” where I talk about the things that go on in my life and how I deal with them. In 2012, I joined the Tampa walk committee and I enjoy being on their walk committee as well. On June 15, 2012, I was selected to throw out the first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays game vs. the Miami Marlins for all of my hard work to spread awareness of autism and being on the spectrum at the same time. Through my journey so far, I have met some great parents whose children are on the spectrum and other adults that are on the spectrum and I think that these friendships will last for a long time to come!
I walk because I want to help find the tools that I can use to live a better life and I want to help the other adults on the spectrum to find those tools as well! I also walk because I want to show people that if you set your goal, that you can achieve it, no matter if you are on the spectrum or not. I feel that there is not enough services given to the adults on the spectrum and I hope that one day that the services can be in place for the adults on the spectrum. My goal is to someday find a career that I could help other adults on the spectrum as well as the children on the spectrum and their families across the country and globe and share with them the story of my life and make an impact on someone. I hope someday that I could have a career with Autism Speaks as well and continue with my mission with them! My goal is that if everyone knows about my story, then they can be aware of what the adults on the spectrum go through on a daily life.
Mike DiMauro is now our My Life With Asperger’s Blog Contributor. Mike will tell us not only his own life experiences but he also will answer questions from parents, teachers… from you
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