How AUTISM Helped Me DEFY the Odds! (PERSONAL)

๐Ÿ˜ฒย ๐ˆ ๐–๐€๐’ ๐ƒ๐ˆ๐€๐†๐๐Ž๐’๐„๐ƒ ๐–๐ˆ๐“๐‡ ๐€๐”๐“๐ˆ๐’๐Œ!!!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I use to consider myself a very introverted person, very shy, and very set in my own closed routines. I was more of a thinker than a doer and more of a dreamer than a leader.

๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต? ๐˜–๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต?ย ๐Ÿค”

Being diagnosed with Autism was probably the starting point for me, the point where I confirmed to myself who I was: something is just ‘wrong’ with my brain.ย ๐Ÿง 

“๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ข. ๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™„ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™„ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก. ๐™„๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™Ÿ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™– ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™š; ๐™„ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฉ.”ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But even way back in 7th grade I remember feeling like I didnโ€™t want to be labeled like this. I saw the label before me with all its negativity, a label I needed to object and rebel from.ย ๐Ÿ‘Š

๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž!ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

I have vivid memories from school where I refused to accept special accommodations because of the new label. I was now being given opportunities to have additional time on tests, opportunities to leave the classroom to ‘cool down’, and every single time I refused. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

I know it was done with good intentions. But what bothered me the most was that I was being treated differently. I had enough self-consciousness trying to fit in with my peers; now I had to worry about what adults were thinking about me! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž!ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ? ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ: “๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜•๐˜–๐˜› ๐˜›๐˜™๐˜œ๐˜Œ!”ย ๐Ÿคฌ

Well, with my new label I was constantly reminded about my new-given identity: what I couldn’t do, what my limitations were, and what struggles I’d have the rest of my life. Essentially, who I was could now be entirely summarized upon a set of pathological descriptions out of a diagnostic book!ย ๐Ÿ“–

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐Œ๐€๐‰๐Ž๐‘ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ! ๐Ÿšจ

In psychology, the term is referred to as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. In sociology, it’s referred to as the Labeling Theory. To put it simply: ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ง ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ’๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด.ย ๐Ÿค”

For example, if a parent holds a child to very low expectations the odds are very likely the child won’t ever go past the expectations the parent set for them. They will only achieve the most minimal, the expectations set by the parent.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

๐—ฆ๐—ข ๐—™๐—ข๐—ฅ ๐—” ๐—Ÿ๐—ข๐—ก๐—š ๐—ง๐—œ๐— ๐—˜ ๐—œ ๐—จ๐—ฆ๐—˜ ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ง ๐—ข๐—ง๐—›๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—ฆ ๐——๐—œ๐—–๐—ง๐—”๐—ง๐—˜ ๐—›๐—ข๐—ช ๐—œ ๐—ช๐—”๐—ฆ ๐—š๐—ข๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—˜ ๐— ๐—ฌ ๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—™๐—˜…๐Ÿ˜”

But then at one point I finally decided I was going on my own path. These past few years I’ve continually learned that everything starts with Me: ๐ˆ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ข๐ญ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ’๐ฆ ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž, ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž.ย ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ“Œย Dale Carnegie explained it in his principles on How to Win Friends and Influence People.

๐Ÿ“Œย Stephen Covey showed it with the Habit of Being Proactive.

๐Ÿ“Œย The Stoics taught it through their principles of self-control.

๐Ÿ“Œย The Existentialists shared it through the creation of meanings.

๐Ÿ“Œย Individuals like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. excelled at it by example.

It’s the power of helping OURSELVES FIRST before we start trying to help the rest of the world. It’s about taking CONTROL over our emotions rather than letting them and our environment control us. It’s about living our lives for a PURPOSE greater than just ourselves. It’s about a “dream”, a vision of a greater future for all of humanity. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

๐Œ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ, ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐ƒ๐„๐…๐ˆ๐๐ˆ๐๐† ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐‹๐ˆ๐…๐„. ๐ŸŒŽ

What I’ve come to realize again and again is that my past does not have to equal the future. I’ve realized I am more capable than what any label or diagnosis will dictate about me.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ข ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ? “๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ด, ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ’๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜•๐˜๐˜‘!” ๐Ÿ˜…

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐Ž๐–. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ’๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐…๐”๐“๐”๐‘๐„. ๐ŸŒŸ

We can change! We can mentally evolve! Autism may be a part of who I am now, but that doesn’t mean it will ever be my final destination!ย ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ

๐€๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ง ๐„๐—๐๐‹๐€๐๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐, ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ƒ๐„๐’๐“๐ˆ๐๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐! ๐ŸŒŸ

I ultimately will define Me, not someone else, not a test, and definitely not a set of diagnostic criteria. I mean, I can choose to keep a fixed identity for the rest of my life…nah!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

So these past few years I’ve been on a mission to Transcend Labels. My intention is to show the world what’s possible, to show others the importance of looking beneath the surface, past the labels, past the stereotypes, and to see each other for the common humanity we all possess.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

I see lasting change in the world happening through the individual from the inside-out, not the outside-in. I believe that the better we can be for ourselves, the better we can be for others.ย ๐ŸŒŽ

Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everyone has an opinion, but there are fewer people out there setting the example. Will you join me?!ย ๐Ÿ‘Œ

.

I hope this resonates with you! If it does, I would really appreciate if you could share this someone you believe would also benefit from this message! If there are any additional areas I can add value to your life as well as in the LinkedIn community, please let me know!ย ๐Ÿ™‚

My areas of expertise include:

๐Ÿ‘ย Detail-oriented, Thoroughness

๐Ÿ‘ย Quality-over-quantity Focused

๐Ÿ‘ย Analytical, Systemic, Bottom-Up Thinking

๐Ÿ‘ย Emotional intelligence (plus 10 years in Customer Service)

๐Ÿ‘ย Social media, Building Engagement

With gratitude,

Donald “Ace” Arteagaย โค๏ธ

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