Coming Of Age With Autism

Health
8:00 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

For Young Adults, Autism Diagnosis Opens Doors, Minds

Dorian Hinkle (left) and Jordan Howard at the Federal Way farmers market.
Credit KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Growing up, Jordan Howard always felt like an outsider. He had trouble making friends, and he felt awkward in groups. He says he felt like one of those misunderstood high school clichés. And he could never put his finger on why.

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Health
7:50 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Purpose And A Paycheck: Job-Seekers With Autism Reach For Both

Alex Brenner (left), Jordan Howard and Dorian Hinkle relax after their final day working at the Federal Way farmers market for the summer.
Credit KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

The first time Rolando Elias came to work at the Federal Way farmers market, Dr. April Walter was nervous.

“That was a big-time risk,” April says. “It could have blown up in my face.” She opened a tent at the market to give young adults with autism a chance to work.

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Health
7:40 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Cautiously Optimistic: Off To College, With Autism

Housemates Patrick Andrews (left) and Alex Brenner in their kitchen.
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Alex Brenner walked into his psychologist's office one day this summer and right away, he thought he had done something wrong. Both his parents were standing at the front desk. As he closed the door, his mom handed him a letter. “She said, 'read it.' I sat down. It said, ‘you’re getting into the University of Washington.’”

Alex was stunned. His dad helped him uncork a bottle of champagne and they celebrated on the spot. The University of Washington in Seattle was Alex’s first choice among schools. He had been studying for four years at a community college to get his grades up. All his hard work had finally paid off. But sitting there holding his acceptance letter, another wave of realization washed over him. Soon he’d be living on his own in a new city, a long drive from his parents’ home in Tacoma. He suddenly felt nervous.

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