Chris: Stories of Autism [Gigi’s Joy Photography: Racine Portrait Photographer]

Union Grove headshot lifestyle photographer, Burlington, Racine, Kenosha, Waterford, books, libraryFrom the first few sentences of his e-mail to me, I knew that Chris needed to be part of the Stories of Autism gallery.  His perspective is incredibly unique in that he was diagnosed with autism as an adult. Upon learning this, he was forced to look back at many of the experiences and relationships that have shaped him as a child and young adult. Chris spent countless hours at the library researching autism, so it was fitting to document his time there.

Union Grove headshot lifestyle photographer, Burlington, Racine, Kenosha, Waterford, books, libraryFrom Chris:

At 30, I was diagnosed as high-functioning autism spectrum (formerly known as Asperger’s until the DSM-V manual change), when I sought counseling for depression and anxiety, common on the spectrum when trying to fit into the neurotypical world. It came as a shock. I wondered if my fiance would stay with me. Would my supervisor think I was competent to do a social job as Program Director of a nonprofit? I began reading all of the books about the autism spectrum at the library.

2017-04-06_0009It explained a lot going back to childhood; in talking to my best friend’s mom, I learned he was also on the spectrum. What helped a lot with self-acceptance were celebs that came out like Daryl Hannah, Dan Ackroyd, Susan Boyle, Eminem, etc.Union Grove headshot lifestyle photographer, Burlington, Racine, Kenosha, Waterford, books, library

2017-04-06_0008I connected with Autism Solution Pieces, a nonprofit started by two autism warrior moms. Since there are not only adults with autism, but the children on the spectrum are growing up, we formed an adults group called ASPies Unite, beginning with a bowling outing. ASP has since invited me to join their board of directors.Union Grove headshot lifestyle photographer, Burlington, Racine, Kenosha, Waterford, books, libraryMy diagnosis gave me awareness to work on challenges and build them into strengths. Although I have quality of life with a family, a degree, and a career, I don’t want to pass as normal- what’s that anyways? I can be a role model and inspire hope with my story. A diagnosis helped with awareness to learn more about myself, to build weaknesses into strengths, like improving on studying body language and remembering to smile or make eye contact. Along with the challenges come gifts, and I wouldn’t change if I could. I can bring hope for others to have independence and a meaningful life as they define it. As my dad told me growing up, “You can be whatever you want to be and do anything you put your mind to.” I’ve fully come to love and accept myself, and I’m proud of who I am.

Chris Rosin

Racine, WisconsinUnion Grove headshot lifestyle photographer, Burlington, Racine, Kenosha, Waterford, books, library

************************

To read more about Stories of Autism, click here.

For an Introduction to the 2017 Stories of Autism Gallery, click here.

Autism Solution Pieces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: