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Autism Asperger's Digest: My Journey to Independence

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Originally Published in Autism Asperger's Digest
January/February 2014 Issue
By Jay Mikush, CIP Brevard Alumni

My name is Jay Mikush, and I am 23 years old. When I was first diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) at the age of six, I had many challenges interacting with other children. Over the years, I have learned how to be more social with all sorts of people.

I am proud to have been born and raised in wonderful Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After I graduated from high school, I enrolled in the College Internship Program’s (CIP) Brevard Center, a post–high school program for young adults with AS and other learning differences. During this time I also attended Brevard Community College in Melbourne, Florida, where I learned how to live independently.

After I graduated from high school, I found out about CIP and its services from my parents. At first, I was not terribly interested in going because I could not imagine being away from home. However, when I arrived at CIP and got used to being away from home and knowing everyone and how the program worked, I got accustomed to it and realized it was a helpful environment to live in. I had many friends at Brevard, and I participated in a variety of activities, including bowling and going to the beach.

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