I am cool. I am great. I am nice and friendly.

I am cool. I am great. I am nice and friendly.

At New Hope we’re always looking for ways to celebrate, and in April, we’re celebrating Autism Awareness month. Autism is an often misunderstood disorder and can be very different for those affected by it. To get a better understanding, we spoke to New Hope client Steven and his family.

Steven joined New Hope last year as part of the AIM program after graduating from high school. He also enjoys his time with Janus Developmental Services where he receives additional services. We asked Steven a few questions about himself, his autism and how he’s spending his time at home during the pandemic.

Q: What are some things you like to do?
A: I like to play catch with Dad. I like to watch TV. I like to go fishing.

Q: What do you like about coming to AIM?
A: I like doing word search and I say hi to people. Jacob is nice.

Q: What would you want people to know about you?
A: I am cool. I am great. I am nice and friendly.

Q: What have you been doing during the pandemic?
A: I have been doing puzzles. I have been shooting hoops and biking.

Steven’s family is very involved in his life and provides a great support to him as he continues to learn skills for independence and practices navigating the community in AIM. We asked his parents some questions too.

Q: How does Steven’s autism affect his daily life?
A: Mostly, it makes verbal communication more difficult for him. He understands pretty much everything but he struggles to proactively verbalize his needs and desires.

Q: Has the pandemic made things harder or more challenging in terms of routine and behavior?
A: Not really, but it has changed his routine and he’s probably a lot more bored than normal.

Q: How has New Hope/AIM helped Steven?
A: Steven likes routine, like most people. Between Janus and AIM, it gives him a routine much like high school.

Q: What’s one thing that you want people to know about Steven?
A: He’s the nicest, kindest person I know. He almost never gets angry, and is always willing to help with whatever task is at hand.

Q: Why is it important that society learn more about autism during Autism Awareness Month?
A: Overall, society today seems much more kind and understanding of people with special needs than my generation. However, the more neuro-typical people understand, the better the life of those affected by autism and other developmental disorders.

Learn more about autism and Autism Awareness Month by visiting Autism-Society.org.

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