Saturday, August 12, 2017

Austism -- a post by Zachary Anderson

Recently Zachary had to write an essay on the following question. He wanted to share it with you.

Describe an experience that had a significant impact on you. The experience can be an achievement, a personal challenge, a failure, a trip, a realization, etc. What did you learn from this experience? How has this experience influenced your development as a person?

For the longest time, I didn't know what was wrong with me. I wasn't the same as other kids and other kids didn't seem to understand me. In 3rd grade, though, I found out I had Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

When I found out that this was a syndrome other people had, I realized I wasn't weird, and that made me feel more positive and confident because I knew I could do whatever I wanted in life.

While I was in 3rd grade, my mom bought me a book called "All Cats Have Asperger's Syndrome" and I read it to my class. After I finished reading, the teacher asked if anyone felt they had any of the traits mentioned in the book, and almost everyone did. This made me feel more connected and at ease with them because they understood me better.

When I found out about famous people with Asperger's Syndrome, including Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, I knew that I could be great in life because many people with Asperger's Syndrome already are.

I learned that anyone, no matter what, can make a difference in the world or in someone's life.

I made my main group of friends in 5th grade, and I've been friends with them ever since. I've invited them to my house get togethers and even had a birthday party. My mood has improved drastically since 5th grade.

A personal challenge that changed me was at an overnight camp called Echo Hill. I had to climb 45 feet up a tree to get to a zip line. I'm afraid of heights, but I was determined to zip line. About a quarter of the way up, I started to panic, even though I had a harness. My group, though, knew I could do it and they kept encouraging me to keep going. I kept going but I couldn't see through my tears. My group told me where to put my hands and feet so I could keep going. I reached the top, but without the encouragement of friends, I couldn't have done it. I'm so glad I managed, because the zip line was amazing!

I've overcome many physical and social challenges and made many friends. Doing this was no easy feat. Many hardships got in my way, but I overcame them. My friends, teachers, and parents helped me through any trouble....

... all of this because I found out I had Asperger's Syndrome and realized that I was wanted and not weird.


  1. Wonderfully written I know your Mom is so very proud of you!!!

  2. Wonderfully written I know your Mom is so very proud of you!!!

  3. So beautifully written, Zack. I hope other kids with Asperger's see this, and realize they are not weird are inspiring!

  4. What a fantastic essay! Zack you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Very moving and true words, Zack! Gonna miss your smiling face this year.

  6. Zack, my son is also on the autism spectrum but we did not realize this until he was most of the way through high school. I wish we had known sooner. We read up on Asperger's Syndrome and he said, "Yes, that's me." It wasn't until after his second year of college that we received an official diagnosis of "High-functioning Autism" -- very much like AS but with minor differences. You have such a great attitude. Your knowledge and your ability to reach out to others will take you far in life; you already understand that people need to feel wanted. Congratulations on writing a great essay and starting high school.

  7. This essay should reach more people, not just people with Asperger's but a broader audience so that we all realize what it feels like. And this realization will hopefully help some to have dreams and achieve them and others to support them in their way! Well done, Zack!

  8. That was Beautiful and made me water up!!!

  9. Zack, you can do anything you want to. I really enjoyed reading your essay I know how proud your mom is of you, its good to know you have friends and are enjoying life now. I wish you every success in whatever you do in life :)

  10. Zack I have loved you and your wonderful ways through your Mom's blog. You made me feel special so many times when you appreciated my little "punny" gifts...I am thinking of the marbles and the "snail" mail and the little fabric bird I made from a little book and fabrics you gave me. You are Wonderful and I do believe you will do great things in your life! EnJOY High School and your friends and family. Blessings...<3

  11. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Beautifully stated Zack. Bravo.

    -Jen Brecht

  12. You will never know how many times in the lower moments I turned on the little video of you as a baby dancing in the kitchen with the little music toy from the refrigerator door. If I was sad it made me smile, if I was in horrible pain, for a couple of seconds the music and you made everything right. Over the years I have celebrated your moving up the ladder with pride and love although the former doesn't make sense but the latter comes from the heart so it doesn't need to make sense.

    You are my loved godson because that is how you have always been, in my heart there is a place that no one can ever even visit, except your Mother when we talk about you. I am so proud of you, and I know with all the certainty anyone can have that you will make great steps no matter where you want to go. Barry used to talk about you as if he knew you. He always said how he was looking forward for you to have time to come and spend time with him so he could show you many things about science and computers. He really wished that and I wish he could have stay with us longer because you would have enjoy him perhaps as much as he would have enjoyed you.

    I love you Zack, you are one in a million and that is true. I will be walking along with you and celebrate every step you make, because I know the price you have pade for some of them.
    You are brave and humble, a rare combination but I didn't get my Ph.D in a cracker Jack box so I can say without pride myself, that what's past is prologue and your journey will be everything you want it to be. Of that I am certain.

    Your fairy godmother.

  13. Anonymous2:47 AM

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  14. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Awesome post.

  15. Thank you Zachary for sharing this with us.

  16. Einstein and Newton may have a form of autism. So we don't have to be afraid. Like you said, We should face life with confidence.

  17. What a beautifully written, heartfelt essay. You are a shining star.


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