Dear Community Member,
I made it through high school without issue because I was quiet and well-behaved, and because I did well academically. When I went to college, I majored in psychology as an attempt to understand the world a little bit better. Unfortunately, my anxiety at college was overwhelming, and I couldn’t seem to come up with a course of action for my schoolwork. My procrastination led to falling behind in class, which only caused more stress, anxiety, and procrastination. I ended up close to failing more than half of my course load, taking a medical leave, and moving back home to live with my parents. As I tried to understand why college had been so difficult, the explanation came in the form of an Asperger’s diagnosis at age 20.
Once I had the word Asperger's, it became a lot easier to find resources. And I found AANE…
The staff at AANE paired me with a LifeMAP coach who recognized the nuances of being a woman on the spectrum and the challenges of receiving a late diagnosis. My coach gave me the support I needed to finish college, and helped me land a job at AANE - my first “real job”.
AANE’s atmosphere of validation, acceptance, and respect helped me build self-confidence. I never had to pretend to be someone else when I was at AANE -- which was good, because I have never been interested in changing who I am. I think differently from others -- and I consider that an asset. In fact, my different thinking has led me to a career path in computer science, which harnesses my strengths and is meaningful to me. I know that there may be new challenges ahead, but I also know I can turn to AANE for support should I ever need it.
I’m donating to AANE this year because I know my gift will make a difference. I hope you will join me in supporting AANE.
51 Water Street, Suite 206
Watertown, MA 02472