What am I doing Now?

March 20, 2016

Hey everyone, I just wanted to update all of you on my overall progress and what has been transpiring in my life. I am now currently working for a travel nursing agency as a talent acquisition specialist. This job has been quite the experience! I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the health care field as a whole. Our agency places Registered Nurses for travel assignments all over the country! It is a very competitive industry but it is definitely a thriving market. This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. Is it what I am ultimately planning on doing long term? No. However, this job has provided me a steady paycheck and it has allowed me to be more financially independent. In the meantime, I am planning on going back to school part time in order to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree. It is so imperative to have a BA degree in today’s globalized economy. What I am hoping to do is earn my BA in linguistics/communications. Afterwards, my ultimate goal is to get into a Masters degree program for Speech Language Pathology.
This would give me the opportunity to help developmentally delayed children and adults with their speech language development. Just think about the amazing difference I could make in the lives of so many people in a variety of age ranges and intellectual/development spectrums.
Also, it is a very stable career with a myriad of opportunities for professional growth. I am thinking that I would like to work in a school helping kids with communication impairments. This profession is so emotionally rewarding and you know for a fact that you are truly making a positive difference. How did I decide on this career path? Well, I had a sudden epiphany when I was working with Speech Language Pathologists at my company.
At one point, I had the opportunity to have discussions with them while assisting them with the application process. It all became crystal clear to me that I wanted to reroute my career path when I started learning more about the career objectives, professional experiences and the overall job responsibilities that are prevalent in this field of work. Hopefully, everything will work out. I am just going to chip away at it. Even if I hit obstacles and roadblocks, my never give up attitude will help me persevere. Thank you so much for reading and more to come!

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We Deserve A Fighting Chance!

April 12, 2015

“He will never be able to live a happy, healthy and successful life,” they said. “He will never be able to take care of himself, pursue a higher education or become gainfully employed,” they said. Well how wrong they all were. As in “they” and “all” I am talking about all of the so called medical professionals out there who predict our demise at an early age. There are so many misconceptions and ill-perceived notions that are constantly floated around in our society by people who have no idea what it’s like to overcome a developmental delay or disability. What we need is help, understanding, compassion and guidance. There is no need to treat us like we are subhuman or mentally retarded.
My mom was given an absolute horror story and the gloomiest possible outlook for how my life would ultimately unfold one day. The doctors didn’t exactly give my mom much hope or optimism based on any stretch of the imagination.
So it makes me wonder how many other parents out there have been delivered the riot act by stiff doctors with big egos who really have no business trying to predict the future. I understand their intentions. Ultimately, I just think a loved one would rather have false hope compared with a proclamation of a death sentence. The fact is, every child with autism deserves a fighting chance and a positive prognosis for the future. Yes we may be developmentally delayed and challenged but that does not mean we cannot be productive members of society one day. All we need is for people to believe in us and to help us cope with any future challenges that may arise. Children and adults with autism are capable of achieving extraordinary things and even the most low functioning on the autism spectrum can teach us wonders about what it is like to truly love one another. You can never underestimate the heart of a person with autism. We may be developmentally delayed or deficient but we are certainly not emotionally deficient. Children with autism have amazing spiritual powers along with the remarkable ability to connect with a higher power.

We may never be regarded as normal. But what is “normal” anyways? Just because you can’t label us or place us in a specific stereotype, doesn’t mean we don’t have value as human beings. At the end of the day we are still human beings with human feelings and emotions. We want to achieve happiness, we want to feel appreciated and we want people to treat us with respect and dignity. Give us a fighting chance!

Every person on the autism spectrum has different strengths and abilities. However, we all have the potential to change the world and to change human understanding of our capabilities. At the end of the day, we are just neurologically wired differently than all of the so called “normal people” out there. We have different needs, traits and tendencies. But that does not make us less human, less remarkable, or less proficient than anyone else in the world. We are just different. And what is wrong with being different? We may flap our hands, speak a different language, experience difficulty in comprehending social cues and we may not be able to do the same tasks that most people can do without assistance. However, we are spiritually and emotionally gifted. We have an immense amount of love and appreciation for all of society and for the entire universe in general. Yes there is a lot we can learn from other people. And there is also a lot that others can learn from us.

So please do not underestimate our abilities even though they may be abilities that are “unseen.” Our strengths and abilities transcend this world and society’s perceptions of us. We have supernatural abilities to heal the world and to help expand compassionate motives. All we need is a fighting chance to prove the doubters wrong. And you will be amazed at what we can bring to this world. Just give us that chance to show you who we are and what we can do. If you believe in us we will believe in you.
I will never stop advocating for individuals such as myself who have been written off time and time again.

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Its Great to be an FAU OWL!

November 20, 2014

Hey everyone I am so sorry that I haven’t had the opportunity to update my blog in such a long time! I have been going through a tremendous amount of emotional and psychological despair. You would think that would be more of a reason to update my blog, but I am the type of person that has trouble writing when I am not in the right frame of mind. I have to be in a good place spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. When I hit a roadblock, my mind pretty much shuts down and I become overwhelmed with negative emotions. Many times, I blow things out of proportion and I have trouble maintaining true perspective on my life. This is an on going process that I have been working on through therapy and self help strategies. Usually, I like to be in a positive frame of mind when I am articulating my thoughts that way I don’t publish information about myself that I will only regret later on!

But anyways I am extremely excited to announce that I completed my Associates Degree at Palm Beach State College. I was able to overcome the odds and I was able to overcome every educational obstacle that was thrown in my path. Thankfully, I had a great amount of support, guidance and assistance. I would like to thank my amazing mother, my disability support advisor Dr Swain, and all of the Professors that helped me believe that I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.

It took longer than I initially anticipated for me to obtain my AA degree. When I first entered college, I thought for sure I would be able to get it in two years. Unfortunately, I struggled mightily in math which really kept me back. I failed multiple math classes at Broward and PBSC. Finally, I was able to find a terrific plan and a marvelous tutor to help get me through this difficult period. If it wasn’t for my perseverance, inner strength, and never give up attitude, I probably would have dropped out of college completely.

It’s funny because I have always thrived in every other subject except for anything related to math. Even at the college level, I have always earned As and Bs in every other class I have taken other than math. Algebra was by far my hardest subject. Believe it or not, I actually did better in Liberal Arts math which included, stats, logic and probability. I guess my brain is more wired to analyze stats which is probably a part of the reason why I am so good at breaking down sports stats!

After taking Liberal Arts Math during the summer, I had finally reached the pinnacle of my undergraduate success at a Community College. So then I had to apply at Florida Atlantic University. There were no guarantees that they were going to accept me. I knew I had done everything that I possibly could to get in. I had the required GPA, credits, and transcript to get accepted. I had even already taken preliminary Education courses including Intro to Education Technology, Intro to Teaching and Educational Diversity. So I had the prerequisites needed for the Education program at FAU. However, there was still a cloud of uncertainty surrounding my admission status.

Based on the research I have done, at least one Public University is required to accept an AA transfer student from a State Community College. Here’s the catch though: It doesn’t have to be the University that you initially apply at. It just has to be one of any number of schools in the state. Thankfully, I was able to get into FAU since they have a fantastic Education program and they are the closest University to where I currently reside. My specific major is going to be Special Education with a certification in ESOL.

I couldn’t possibly be more excited to make a positive difference in the lives of students with disabilities. And I am looking forward to having a positive experience at FAU!

Go Owls!

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The Importance of Using Rate My Professors

July 6, 2010

I cannot emphasize enough how valuable of a resource Rate My Professors can be. This is an excellent website that directs you to reviews and ratings of any prospective professor. Rate My Professor allows students to evaluate their professors. I highly advise all students to always check Rate My Professors before making a decision on which professor to select for your course. Rate My Professors is very easy to use and navigate.

When you get to the site all you have to do is type in either your professor’s name or the name of your school. For example, if you type in the name of your school, you will be directed to a professor database. As soon as you find your professor’s name, you can rate the professor, write a review, and view the professor’s overall rating. You can also read the list of reviews written by students who have taken the professor’s class.

In addition, the rating system is very concise. Each professor is evaluated on the aspects of overall quality, clarity, helpfulness, easiness and even hottness! The overall quality is determined by the average rating of the helpfulness and clarity given by all users. The helpfulness rating is based on whether the professor is approachable, nice, and easy to communicate with. I believe the helpfulness rating is the most important rating because it is very important that your professor be helpful and easy to work with.

Another important rating is the the clarity rating, which is determined based on how well the professor teaches the course material, including the professor’s overall teaching style and methodologies. Interestingly, the easiness factor is not included in the overall rating, but the professor still receives an average rating for this category. The easiness rating is very self-explanatory. When grading your professor on easiness, you are answering whether the class is an easy A and how hard you have to work in order to earn a good grade.

Rate My Professor also likes to have some fun with the hotness rating. If your professor is hot, he or she can get a red hot chilli pepper. Although Rate My Professor is not always completely accurate, it is very useful, reliable and credible. It allows you to gain a tremendous amount of interesting information about a professor. If you do not use this resource, you might as well be selecting a professor out of a hat or you might as well be wearing blindfolds when signing up for your classes.

Rate My Professor will increase your chances of getting a quality professor who is helpful and competent. Also, Rate My Professor has the capability to keep a professor accountable, motivated and inspired. Please do yourself a favor, and take advantage of this awesome site!
Photo By Rainer Ebert

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Experiences as a college student with autism – Fantastic News!

July 3, 2010

I have some very exciting news to announce! I finished out my final semester of the year with two A”s and one B. I was astonished to find out how well I did. My two A’s were in Education Technology and Art Appreciation. I had no idea what to expect. It took a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to succeed in my classes this semester.

Two of my Professors were very helpful and approachable. However, my Education Technology professor was not very helpful by any stretch of the imagination. It was basically a teach-yourself class. We were required to write six research papers before Spring Break, and one had to be done in APA. After Spring Break we had a five-page APA research paper as our final exam and we had numerous projects to work on. The projects included a PowerPoint Presentation on a subject area you would teach to a class along with a lesson plan to supplement the presentation. Also we had to create a Gradebook, Brochure, Family Tree on Inspiration, a Mail Merge, etc.

In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed my Art Appreciation class. I learned about various works of art, including works from Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Mary Casatt and M.C. Escher. Also I learned about all of the different elements of art. My Art Appreciation Professor was very nice and caring.

My English class went extremely well for me as well. I was very happy with my results in that class. I had an excellent professor, who had a very good teaching style. She taught the class a number of terrific writing strategies and her class was very engaging.

Ultimately, I was able to succeed this semester because I felt motivated and inspired. I found that it is so very important to choose classes that inspire you to want to learn and work hard.

Photo by edanley

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Navigating College With Autism – 15 Study Strategies for College Students

March 28, 2010

Here’s a list of study strategies that I think are very effective. These strategies will help you to remember the information that you study and help you get a good grade on any test or quiz.

1. Give yourself plenty of time to study. Don’t cram or procrastinate. It is a good idea to study the material days ahead of time. If you put it off until the last minute, you will suffer the consequences. Believe me, I know!

2. Create a to-do list and keep a planner.

3. Study one hour in the morning, one hour during the day and one hour at night. Spread out the amount of time you spend studying. If you try to study for hours at a time, you will only tire yourself out mentally. If you have multiple classes to study for, spend an hour each on one class at a time. Make sure you take some 15-minute breaks to refresh your mind and give you more mental energy.

4. Make sure you take good notes in class. Then rewrite and organize your notes. Rewriting your notes helps you to memorize the information. Studies have been done to support the writing memorization theory. Also, my secret weapon for memorization is to repeat what I am trying to memorize out loud to myself. Believe me, this works extremely well.

5. Take time to read the chapter. Reading the chapter will help you to truly understand the material.

6. Work with a study group and have your friends or classmates quiz you.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek help from your professors, ask a classmate or someone who has taken the course, or go to the resources center for help.

8. Create PowerPoint and Excel Spreadsheets. This is an excellent way to document the information you need to study. If you are a visual learner, this is a very helpful way to study.

9. Watch tutorials and videos on the particular subject matter.

10. Simplify the information and think of tricks and hints which will help you to retain the information you are studying. For example, try to make some type of connection that will help you to easily remember something.

11. Take advantage of the study guide if a professor gives you one. Let me let you in on a little secret — Most of the time the information that is on the study guide covers everything that you will see on the test. As a result, a study guide is a cause for celebration. If you get a study guide, then that means you have a very nice professor.

12. Find a quiet place to study. Studying in a quiet place will enable you to reach your peak concentration. I usually study at the library because I find at home I can easily become distracted by the TV and will end up procrastinating.

13. Prioritize your assignments. Get yourself in the habit of studying for your most difficult subject first.

14. Have a positive attitude and make studying a positive experience. Relax and have fun. This happens to be very important because if you are too stressed out or nervous, you will not do as well. Visualize yourself getting a good grade and believe in yourself.

15. Get plenty of sleep the night before the test and eat a healthy breakfast.

Photo by Kim TD

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College Student with Autism – Good Grade On My Comparison/Contrast Paper!

March 25, 2010

I am proud to announce that I received a B 84/100 on my Comparison/Contrast essay. The topic I chose for this essay was the differences and similarities between Democrats and Republicans. Since I am very fascinated with politics, I thought this would be the perfect topic to write about. My hard work paid off tremendously. I discussed the hot button issues such as health care, the economy, and foreign policy. For example, i talked about how many Democrats support a comprehensive health care reform bill. In contrast, I explained that the Republicans are against government-run Health Care, and they don’t want any Health care bill that will increase the deficit. Also, the Republicans believe that the quality of care will be affected, and they don’t want insurance companies to lose business.

Regarding the economy, I wrote about how the Democrats favor stimulus bills, job creation bills and regulating the financial institutions. On the other hand, Republicans are opposed to any future spending bills that will decrease the deficit, and they support deregulation and Reaganomics. For the foreign Policy category, I discussed the parties’ differences and disagreements regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, torture methods and the treatment of terrorist suspects, interpretation of the international law, and the differences in how to resolve international conflicts.

My overall essay grade was based on the three categories of content/development, organization and grammar/mechanics. The content/development section was out of 40 points, and I received 37 points. The organization section was out of 40 points, and I received 30 points. Lastly, the grammar/mechanics section was out of 20 points, and I received 17 points. I am extremely thrilled about my final grade, and I feel like I did a good job meeting the requirements. However, there is always room for improvement.

My mistakes are very clear to me, and I am committed to learning from my mistakes. The strongest points of my essay were the content, sentence correctness and style, word choice, and paragraph organization. On the other hand, the weakest points of my essay would be considered grammar and the essay organization. The first four paragraphs were very organized, except for my conclusion, which ended up being underdeveloped. I wrote good topic sentences, an attention-grabbing hook and an effective thesis. As far as my grammar is concerned, there were a few minor errors. All in all, I had a great time writing about Democrats and Republicans!

photo by LaMenta3

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Seven Tips to Help You Get a Good Grade on Your College English Paper

February 22, 2010

I’d like to share with you some writing strategies to increase your chances of getting a good grade on your college English paper. They worked for me!

– Start working on your paper as early as possible.

– If you have the choice of choosing your own topic, select a topic you are passionate about and also make sure you have a significant amount of knowledge on that topic.

– Spend time on prewriting.  It is important to invest a good amount of time brainstorming or free writing, which includes just getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Also, it is important to spend time creating a web or a concept map. Think everything through and don’t be intimidated by the length, the elaborate topic, the requirements, or even the professor.

– Focus on organization. Make sure you have a strong thesis statement; make sure you use transitions frequently; make sure your hook and your intro is strong; make sure your body paragraphs introduce and discuss the ideas in your thesis. Lastly, make sure your conclusion is strong and developed.

– Dont bore the reader or the professor to death. Make your paper as interesting as possible by using strong verbs and adjectives.

– Spend a good amount of time proofreading your paper!

– Most importantly, have fun, relax and enjoy the writing process! Your thoughts will come together more clearly and you will be able to be more creative if you are not worried about the outcome.

photo by English106

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Navigating College with Autism: Great News! An "A" On My Process Analysis Essay

February 10, 2010

I have some great news to announce! On my Process Analysis Essay for English class, I recieved an A! That grade shows that I do have the ability to get an A on a college paper. At the end of the day, it just comes down to me really applying myself. My mom helped out by proofreading my paper after I proofread it. She does a great job catching mistakes that I don’t even see, which also  helps me to improve my writing even more. My mom always has excellent suggestions and advice. During last semester’s English class, the highest grade I recieved was a B. So far I am off to a great start! On my Process Analysis essay I wrote about what it takes to be a successful blogger. I went into many details about how to start a blog and how to promote your blog effectively. I knew I was headed in the right direction with this paper, when I got an A on the outline and thesis portion of the assignment. Right now I feel like I am on fire! In the near future, I just need to continue to follow the directions and the format. Also, most importantly, I need to continue to work hard.

Photo by laurenatclemson

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Life as a College Student with Autism – Some Regrettable News About My Grades

January 29, 2010

Unfortunately, I have some very regrettable news to share with you all. My final grades were recorded over the winter break and I finished with two grades of a D in both my English 1101 class and my Computer Literacy class. I was very heartbroken and devastated when the moment of truth arrived.

My first semester turned into a complete disaster because of my procrastination and laziness. I have no one else to blame but myself. I did not put in the necessary amount of hard work that is required to succeed in college. I had a tremendous amount of difficulty keeping up with the assignments.

As far as my English class went, I wrote a quality research paper and a quality final term paper; however, I ended up turning both papers in late. I just wasn’t diligent enough with my work. I feel extremely bad about the way I behaved, and when I reflect back to last semester I am astonished about my overall nonchalant attitude.

From my Freshman to Junior Year of High School I was a very hard-working and dedicated student. I was committed to excellence. Then all of a sudden during my Senior year, I became a procrastinator and I developed bad habits.   However, in High School I always managed to get A’s and B’s  on a consistent basis, excluding math, of course, which has always been my downfall and major weak point.  The biggest difference was that I was able to compensate for the senioritis!

In college the most important measure of success is based on  the amount of work the student puts in. During the beginning of the first semester, which is documented in my previous posts, I had a very positive attitude and I was also extremely motivated. Then all of a sudden something changed on the inside and it started showing on the outside. I started thinking it was okay to miss classes and I stopped working hard. I turned into the senioritis student all over again! 

I am on academic probation with my Vocational Rehab and if this trend continues, I could be in major trouble with Broward College. Right now I need to look at myself in the mirror, and I need a serious reality check. I am going to make some significant changes and I am going to make sure that I become the student that I have been and that I still want to be.

I will never give up on myself, and I know for a fact that I am very intelligent, and I know I have what it takes to be successful. I have disappointed and let everyone down in my life. This is a very emotional blog for me to write, due to how melancholy I feel. It’s all about asserting myself and becoming the college student I know I can become.  I have finally awakened from a terrible nightmare and I am ready to accomplish my goals and dreams!

Photo by kundl

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