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.

Jake Edwards
Self-Advocate Trainer

Pathfinders for Autism “Highlights of 2018” video



Honoring President George H. W. Bush and the ADA

Today we are all Seth’s Mom – Happy Mother’s Day

ActuallyAutistic. The new face of self-advocacy

Keeping the self in disability self-advocacy. It can sometimes be an act of sass!

Where is Seth’s Mom? Walk with Choosy health and fitness event

SSI or SSDI. What to know when applying for disability benefits.

ActuallyAutistic. From people first language to self identifying language

Involuntary psychiatric treatment. A hard family decision.

Autism jargon: what is SIB or SIBs?




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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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