A two story of disability challenges. Another story on culture challenges

This guest post is by Tie-aye Farnum, a young woman who is diagnosed with Aspergers and plans to attend The University of Delaware. Tie-ate is applying for the Spring 2024 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference started by me, Kerry Magro. I was nonverbal till 2.5 and diagnosed with autism at 4, and you can read more about my organization here. Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams, our nonprofit’s new book, was released on March 29, 2022, on Amazon here for our community to enjoy featuring the stories of 100 autistic adults.

My name is Tie-aye Farnum, and this is my story. As a young girl, I was always a very strong-willed and bright girl but had some problems that neurotypical people didn’t have; I didn’t officially get a diagnosis of autism until much later in life. Growing up, mental problems like autism weren’t really studied as much as it is now. The first person ever diagnosed just died last year at the age of 68. I showed many of the symptoms throughout my life but all the doctors I went to just classified my personality or diagnosed me with OCD and speech disability. I took Speech therapy from 1st to 12th grade.
As a child I would repeatedly watch television shows like “The Power Rangers” because I admire their influence in the small town of Angel Grove. I always relished the idea of a group of young teens, regardless of their social status, disability, or race, coming together to fight evil. As I grew older, I understood that becoming a Power Ranger was just a mere fantasy; however, making a difference, Overcoming challenges, and leaving a positive impact in my community was something that I still yearned for.
One day in high school, I had an appointment with my advisor about where I wanted to attend college. I told them I wanted to go to the University of Delaware. She told me that, due to my grades, it would be almost impossible. My grades weren’t even horrible. My main problem was that I struggled with English. Due to my speech impairment I write as I talk, which causes my writing to be affected as well. Every time I had to write an essay, it just lowered my grade, but even so, my grades were mostly A’s and B’s, maybe one or two Cs for the classes that were heavy in essay assignments, by the end of my high school journey. I had straight As and reached the top 50 in my class for report cards. At first, I didn’t apply to the University Of Delaware due to that negative experience of being told I wasn’t good enough. I just accepted that I would go to community college. Still, my mom convinced me to apply and see what happens. One day, I came home, and my mom was so happy. My mom told me I got into the University of Delaware. She was so proud of me and all my hard work. I learned that sometimes it is best to take a chance, even if it seems impossible at the time. I am now a junior at the University of Delaware, majoring in one of the most complex subjects, animal science while minoring in entrepreneurship. While at the same time working part time at a Muslim school where I can help future kids with or without disability achieve their dreams. I now tell anyone who reads this not to give up on their dreams, no matter how unlikely it might seem. Another story I have its not so much about my disability but more of culture. In 5th grade, my mother sends me to this Islamic school to be around other Muslim kids just like me. In this school, we have uniforms which we had to wear every day but Wednesday. On Wednesday you could pay 1 dollar, and you could wear anything you want if it is appropriate. Every other day we had to wear hijab, khaki pants, and a long green shirt. Two years later, I reached puberty, which means that I had an obligation with my lord to wear loose clothing such as an abaya. When I got that age, my mother sat me down and asked me what I’m going to do. Will I be wearing the school uniforms, or will I be wearing an abaya to school? The next day I decided to wear an abaya to school, and everything was the same, but a couple of days later, my teacher asked me why I wasn’t wearing school uniforms. I told her that I reached the age of puberty and I wanted to wear an abaya. She told me that I couldn’t, and I have to wear school uniforms. The next day I decided to wear my abaya still, and my teacher was still mad and said, if you don’t wear the uniforms, I will have to give you detention or not let you in the school. I told her that’s not fair, how can the teachers wear abaya but not me. She said to me, that’s just how it is.
When I got home, I told my mother what happened, and she was so mad that she called the school, and they told her the same thing. She told me, “You can go to school and wear uniforms, or you can stay home and do your work here.” So I stayed home for a week until something big happened. They called my mom and told her that we were right for what happens, and we are changing the school uniforms with abaya being an option. A couple of days later, I came back to school and saw all my friends wearing an abaya. That day I learned the importance of staying true to yourself. If I will have back down that day, Hundred of Muslim will have not get to represent their religious and their culture.

Follow my journey on Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, Tiktok, Youtube & Instagram.

What happens to children with autism, when they become adults? | Kerry Magro | TEDxMorristown (youtube.com)

My name is Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum. I started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue post-secondary education. Help support me so I can continue to help students with autism go to college by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit here.

Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams was released on March 29, 2022 on Amazon here for our community to enjoy featuring the stories of 100 autistic adults. 100% of the proceeds from this book will go back to our nonprofit to support initiatives like our autism scholarship program. In addition, this autistic adult’s essay you just read will be featured in a future volume of this book as we plan on making this into a series of books on autistic adults.



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