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Life On the Spectrum

Meet Carter

Disclaimer: Autism Speaks Canada utilizes both person-first (person with autism) and identity-first (autistic person) language and recommends respecting the choice of the autistic individual and or family for their preferred choice. Life on the Spectrum shares lived experiences and authentic stories of autistic Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The answers to the questions are provided by the autistic person and or family. We are thankful to the participants for trusting us. We strive to share their stories authentically and respectfully. Information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks Canada provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. 

Meet Carter

Carter is graphic designer and photographer from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan that was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old. He is a self-advocate that educates others from the first hand perspective what it is like having ASD and what tips and tricks have gotten him through life.

“Even though being autistic comes with some difficulties in life such as learning in school, paying attention to certain things, and understanding social cues, it has also led me to incredible opportunities and friendships along the way as I learned to overcome the my personal barriers.”

Carter

What are your autism strengths?

For me I would say, attention to detail. When some people will forget what has been said to them I will remember it for a long period of time, and it’s been helpful in school especially with the educational assistance I had growing up in my elementary and high school years. After I remember some thing and am able to do it enough times to remember, I will act like a complete professional when it comes to that task . Once I’ve done that task enough times, I know I’ve got it.

What are some things that are hard for you?

When I make a mistake on something, I feel bad about it for long periods of time and I beat myself up over it, which I know I shouldn’t do that. Some of my early struggles I had as a kid were building friendships, letting homework sink in, trying to stay focused, and having difficulties adapting to change (environment, schools, friends, etc). As I got older, I have learned to accept change as it is and live with the times. It takes me a little bit longer to except the changes but. I’m able to except them quick enough now. I’ve had some difficulties at some jobs, but once I understand the task well enough, I’ve got it.

What role has your family played in your autism journey?

Once I was diagnosed at a young age with autism, my parents put me in the right direction: having speech therapy, having social groups, having educational assistants in elementary and high school growing up, and the other programs they signed me up for to help me. I took it for granted back then and didn’t realize how much it was going to help me now. It has been a life saver. They almost thought I wasn’t gonna make it in school past grade four, because I was banging my head against the wall in frustration and struggling to make a proper sentence. I am grateful to show that I am beyond what I thought I was going to be when I got older. I am proud of the work I’m doing now and always trying to leave a good impression on the people I work with. I’m always trying to do my best to make people happy and impressed with what I do and what I can do.

What advice would you give to a person, recently diagnosed with autism, wondering what the future holds for them? What are your goals and hopes for the future?

My advice for anybody who is recently diagnosed is to keep being you and keep defying the odds. Learn to embrace your diagnosis. Learn to embrace being on the spectrum. Growing up I didn’t want my diagnosis to be in a stereotypical mold of what people think autistic people are. I was very much in denial about my diagnosis until about my teen years. I used to do this experiment with people I meet for the first time, where I just be my normal self and then bring it up to people that I am on the autism spectrum and ask if that has changed their perspective on me. And they say no. So, what I have to say for that is keep being who you are while embracing your diagnosis.

What five words best describe you?

Where you can find Carter’s work?

If you would like to see some of Carter’s creative work, you can find his work on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Disclaimer: Autism Speaks Canada utilizes both person-first (person with autism) and identity-first (autistic person) language and recommends respecting the choice of the autistic individual and or family for their preferred choice. Life on the Spectrum shares lived experiences and authentic stories of autistic Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The answers to the questions are provided by the autistic person and or family. We are thankful to the participants for trusting us. We strive to share their stories authentically and respectfully. Information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks Canada provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties.