I ask parents of students with whom I work to help with applications.
This is not uncommon.
What came next was both inspirational and highly uncommon.
Lanie was her senior year of high school. She had never enjoyed a day of high school, and she wasn’t even sure college was the right choice for her.
She complained that none of her teachers liked her and that she wants to very good student.
Her report card was good, she had As and Bs. She’s a quiet girl and was really struggling to find her way in this world.
I encouraged her to explore her options.
Her parents just wanted her to be happy and find a career in which she was fulfilled and could thrive.
Did I mention that Lanie was artistic? She was.
Her favorite activity was making her own clothes on her sewing machine. Her parents were also concerned about a traditional university and the fact that Lanie had autism.
Although she was high functioning autism, her parents did not want her lost in a university setting and forced to deal with an intense Greek system or a thoroughly social school where she would feel more isolated. In a college, she hoped to find and pursue her passion.
I gave her a list of arts colleges that she could look through at at her leisure.
We settled on a few traditional universities and arts colleges to apply to, and then we waited. After all was said and done, our little fashionista ended up deciding to pursue fashion and her love of all things clothing and sewing at a fashion institute.
She was accommodated appropriately was able to live at home, and she is now even more excited about her collegiate life.
Why is this story so important?
First, during Autism Awareness Month, it is important to highlight both that women have autism and that art can have a profoundly healing effect.
Art began as a hobby, an adaptation for Lanie to communicate more readily with the outside world, then it turned into a vocation.
She was able to turn her darkness into light and her pain into beautiful designs.