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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About College Internship Program

The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.