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This Month's Triumphs Essay

My Triumph

It wasn’t until the day after I graduated from high school that my parents explained to me that my disability was more than just a learning challenge. I had been diagnosed with low functioning autism at an early age. My parents were told that a high school education was not a possibility. They chose to help me find a path so I could succeed. Two things were instrumental in my development. At age five, I was enrolled in a form of martial arts that forced by brain and body to a new level. It was so hard for me. What others accomplished in one class, I would take six months to master. My Sensei kept saying, “Never Give Up”. Ten years later, I earned my black belt. I also began piano. I hated the classes because it was so hard to make my hands and eyes work together. The teacher was like a grandmother to me. She was hard but supportive. In my teen years, I started singing classical music. Although my SAT scores were not good, I was recruited to a University because of my singing! Both martial arts and music improved my brain coordination.

This May I graduated from a University with a Bachelors of Art in History and a minor in Theatre. College was very hard but I worked hard and never missed a class. I still have autism but it does not define my future. It is just one of my characteristics. Yes, it is a disability but it is not going to stop me from being just like other people. Biggest lesson, “Never Give Up”. I keep reminding myself of this as I search for an entry level job to start a professional career.

Michael Goodroe - July 14,2011