Meet Sean Sullivan
Meet Sean Sullivan
Hi my name is Sean Sullivan,
I have Autism, and I am very proud of this fact!
I think of my Autism as a gift and super power because I know what it feels like to be rewarded for hard work much more than average and normal people.
My Autism has helped me understand others feelings. For example since I have a disability, I know what the pain of being bullied is, for the most part people who have disabilities are treated by others like freaks, and for immature, belligerent, and oppressive reasons such as feeling superior, and entertainment.
Try to think how you would feel if you were blind and or deaf? What would your behavior be like? Would you do attention seeking behaviors such as repeating curtain words/ phrases over and over again? Would you destroy property? Would yell kick and punch others? Would you hate the world? Or would you do all of the above?
Quite often it is only when we lose something or someone important to us that we stop and realize that we actually cared about that book or our ability to problem solve. When you actually experience something first hand in your life you have a better chance of relating to other people who have also experienced the same thing if you are willing to and more importantly if you are allowed and have a chance to.
Unfortunately today’s society makes it very hard for people to share their experiences, and give advice to others, the two main causes for this that I have came up with after doing a lot of research are,
1. For the most part people instinctively do not want to listen to other people because they think that they have all the answers, the reason for this is because of pride.
2. The second reason is most jobs that allow you to convey ideas to others require a whole of training and a whole lot of education.
Since we are on the subject of education, the college and higher education system in the U.S.A has a 1 size fits all. Often people with disabilities are the ones who need extra help and often that extra help comes in the form of specialty teachers and therapists. The sad part of it all is that even though there is some help for individuals with disabilities at younger ages, when they reach the age for higher education they fall through the holes and cracks of the spiders web. Let me go into more detail; based on my experiences with grade school and higher learning the differences and expectations are worlds apart, which is a very bad thing for anyone with any kind of cognitive, learning, and or developmental disability.
The first difference is that grade school is free; the books are free, and so is transportation which is especially helpful for when I was in grade school. As of right now I have always receive the bare minimum , housing and all other bills paid by the government. College is certainly not free in any sense of the word, and though community college has minimal to zero tuition, registration, and entrance fees, they do charge a lot for books. The campus size of grade schools no matter what grade is much smaller than even the smallest community college.
Expectations are tricky, K through 12 which has no grade point average requirements. However community and 4 year colleges require a super high g.p.a. which makes it even harder for someone like me.
I say that because people with disabilities are growing at a extraordinary rate and because of this it won’t take much longer for the people without disabilities to be outnumbered by people with disabilities, when that happens who else will be able to go to college with the standards that education officials have .
However I will not give up! I will adapt and make my own path. I will create my own path and find a way to get to the top of the mountain.
What’s in it for me? My hope is by writing and submitting this to many people and organizations that it will help others see the world in the perspective of people with disabilities. My hope is by writing this and having others read it that it will help raise awareness that people with disabilities are also intelligent. We just have a different way of showing and expressing our intelligence!
I love public speaking and it’s something that I want to do more.
I have given 20 speeches all in the past. Delivering speeches is not only a skill but a passion of mine. Speaking of passion when I gave my most recent speech in front of a class learning about social work at Cal State Fullerton’s Irvine. I remember my immense excitement and the feeling of being accepted with no strings attached. Happiness.