I am Nickolas Duncan, and I have Asperger's Autism who also a self-advocate. I was born in January during the early 1990's. I currently work at Earth Fare where I am a courtesy clerk for four years, and I had so much fun working with the best co-workers, and meeting new people. Since then, they were cutting my hours due to economic times and I can't work more hours because of it, so that's why I've been job hunting for 15 months with no success. The interviews I had with other grocery stores wasn't accepted, and the job referral didn't work either. The workplaces I applied to, had no experience working with autistic people.
My story began when I turned two years old; at that time when my parents took me to the doctor, and he said I was diagnose with autism. I always have problems communicating with other people and friends while it was very difficult to learn how to read and combine numbers, but I also had anger issues. I always didn't know what proper behavior was until I got older; it was full of bad choices that took awhile to overcome. During that time, I attended three different elementary schools such as Hunter, Foust, and Pilot. Hunter Elementary was a little OK, but when it was nap time I wasn't used to sleeping at all; however I did learn a little bit along with my former classmates, then we had free time; the same thing with Foust Elementary.
When I attended Pilot Elementary School, this was my most challenging school to cooperate with my new classmates, and my childhood friends from my previous school. We mostly got along really well on certain days, however, there always was a difficult time with behaving very well. Next, when I got to the fifth grade I was finally able to learn on my own behavior and make outstanding grades. The fun thing about this school is participating in Special Olympics like Running and Bowling, where I won many ribbons in first, second, and third place where we compete against other autistic children.
Continuing the story, I attended Allen Middle School my entire sixth grade year, it was full of bad memories where there was no respect in the classrooms I go to except my homeroom and one encore class. Even though I got many outstanding awards during this school year and making new friends, I was still treated so badly by my mean teachers ( not the best learning environment) despite my hard work. I was very glad to leave that school to transfer to Kernodle Middle School where I reunited with my childhood friend and had the best teachers and friends in the world. That's where I become the one of the most popular students in this school which is my most favorite place to go to because it was one of the honor schools of excellence. We also participated in Special Olympics where this time I won medals.
I'm not going much about high school ( I graduated with honors and as a member of National Honor Society along with an occupational diploma), but more about college I attend called Guilford Technical Community College majoring in Computer Information Systems. I've been attending this school for four years where I enjoyed an incredible learning environment where I reunited with most of my childhood friends, and I even met new friends who continue to support me even if have sad moments in my life, so I want to thank them for always encouraging me to reach my goals.
I also like to thank my parents who have been with me all my life supporting me and helping me accomplish things, I love them with all my heart, and including my family members, my cousins, and my grandma who is a special woman in my life (if she was still here, she would be proud of me) and I will always miss her.
We all need to help raise autism awareness, and let the entire community know that all of us including our allies are helping fight for our rights to be treated equally as everyone else.