My name is Richie Jewell. I’m 22 years old and I have had autism since I was born. Like everyone else in the world, I have an up-down life like a sea-saw. I went through some of the stuff that has been a rocky roadblock during my life. It was very challenging to live through the times that I endured during my life such as teasing, on and off depression, struggling to adapt in places including schools, helplessly observe my parents’ divorce and the struggles with my disability like problems with speech and language, communication, awkwardness in social situations, screaming and crying when I was young out of frustration. Well despite all of those horrible obstacles that tried to cut me down, I would overcome them by using my own set of coping skills: getting through one day at a time, knowing that happiness and smiles triumph. When I had no friends due to the disability, I pretended that my stuffed animals as if they were my own and practiced it for later on. Whenever I’m in a negative situation, I dream myself a happy place with beautiful nature and happiness all around me. I also remind myself that everything happens for a reason in life, I always ask myself, “Why do we fall? So, we can learn to pick ourselves up”, and most of all, writing poems from my heart with the help and comfort from family, friends, my hobbies, which include animals, wrestling, movies, writing, and inspiration. Those things I just mentioned are the huge puzzle pieces of my life.
The contributions that I have for my success right now are dedication, confidence, patience and support. Because of those, I can believe in myself. I have confidence in my ability to make it to the top and accomplish one goal at a time. My biggest supporters I have are my family and close friends. I have them stored in my head and will remember them for life. I shall never let anyone change me or break my spirit because mines powerful. If I could snap my fingers and be non-autistic, I would not because then it wouldn’t be me. Autism is part of who I am and what made me so unique. Like I said before, everyone has a story to tell and it is our duty to make the best out of what life has given us. This who I am and always will be: I am Richie Jewell.