by Joseph Cairns
My name is Joseph Cairns, I’m 19 years old and I live in Charlottetown PEI. When I was two years old, I was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. This falls under the Autism Spectrum Disorder umbrella.
I worked real hard at school and it paid off. I graduated with honours from Montague Regional High School in June 2012. Yes, honours…a person with Autism graduated with honours. Even after I got my diploma, some people thought out loud… how could he graduate with honours? My answer to them was hard work and determination. Lots of both!
After graduating from high school, I attended Holland College for a little bit, but found out early that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do other than finish my novel that I’ve been working on for the last two years. I’m hoping one day it becomes the next best seller. But that’s a story for another day.
As with any creative writer, you need to pay the bills until you make it big. So I’m lucky enough to work with a great bunch of people at Creative Child Care Center. I decided to work here because I felt comfortable knowing that the boss understood who I was and was willing to make it work for both of us. I’m gaining experience working in a place where there are loud noises and where I have to learn to adapt to changes in my schedule. I think I’m getting used to little kids talking, crying and being loud every day!
So I’m making progress and gaining experience….but I’m wondering what will happen when I want to move on to the next job? I don’t see myself working here for the rest of my life as much as I love the people. Is there a job out there for me? Will the boss want to hire me, Joseph Cairns, the outgoing, charismatic, not to mention great looking young man – and not the label I was given at age two?
Source: Ready, Willing & Able, Volume 3, November 2013
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