By Sarah Denis
I came to ICS from the Department of Rehab. I’m a disabled recent college grad looking for a job. I’ve been searching on my own for a year now with nothing to show for it but two interviews out of many applications. I was convinced to sign up with the Department of Rehab after hearing that I’d be the kind of client they wanted and by having a social worker tell me that they weren’t just for getting jobs at grocery stores. They sent me to ICS after I couldn’t find jobs at their job fairs. So far ICS has been great and very helpful in dealing with procrastination.
I’m looking for a job in writing. I didn’t see myself as getting into writing, but I discovered I liked it in the last few years when I didn’t have to write the 50th paper analyzing a book off the recent bestseller lists, as I did in high school. I love communicating ideas to people, and I’ve had people ask me to demystify their tech problems. Writing is how I explain things and share knowledge and is also the natural extension of my love of communicating, especially since I’m terrible at being in front of a camera. That said, I’m a lot better at nonfiction writing than creative writing. Some of my favorite things to write for fun these days are bad movie rewatches, subtext analysis, and literary criticism.
I would say the biggest problem from my disability is other people who don’t take the time to meet me with an open mind. Being autistic has been so much easier than some medical problems that took years to sort out. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 22 because my parents were worried it would wreck my life. I’d say not having a diagnosis and not spending time with other people like me and not receiving an education in social skills hurt me worse than being diagnosed as autistic would have. (I should say I did get some social skills training when I was younger, but it was about how to pass as “normal” rather than an education about how to navigate the world at large. We got all this training about how to hold conversations and when to make eye contact when what we really needed was to know how to hold conversations and how to love ourselves as we were.) I’m happy to be disabled. I wouldn’t cure myself if I had the option.