Pathfinders for Autism, letter from self-advocate Jake Edwards

Dec 24, 18 Pathfinders for Autism, letter from self-advocate Jake Edwards

From Pathfinders for Autism,

A letter from Self-Advocate Trainer, Jake Edwards

Dear Friends,

Hi! I am Jake Edwards. I am 16 years old and succeeding while dealing with multiple life-impacting disabilities. My mom tells me that I was diagnosed when I was just 2 ½ years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder and I also struggle with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Mood Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. I was adopted at birth and my parents had no idea the journey that my life would take.

In 2015, I was named the Montgomery County Police Autism Ambassador and began training in Montgomery County. Shortly after, I started training with Pathfinders for Autism. Last year alone, Pathfinders for Autism trained over 6,100 professionals and I am happy to be a part of these programs, offered FREE of charge all over Maryland. The trainings I do show real emotions, as I struggle to stay calm, as well as what happens when I am excited. One class, I was even on the floor with 10 recruits doing push-ups together! It is a lot of fun and educational.

I am proud to teach police. I hope they learn to talk nicer especially to people with invisible disabilities. I think everyone needs to understand that sometimes people like me can get upset and have scary behaviors but we don’t mean it and can’t help it. I think we need to teach acceptance and understanding to the entire world.

Autism affects 1 in 50 children in Maryland.
I am 1 in 50.
And one day, I will change the world.

Happy Holidays and Thank You for supporting Pathfinders for Autism.

Sincerely,
Jake Edwards
Self-Advocate Trainer


Pathfinders for Autism “Highlights of 2018” video

 


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External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

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