Friday, April 4, 2014

Interview with Thomas Hassell- Autism Acceptance

I am interviewing Thomas, from Pennsylvania.

My name is Thomas Hassell my age is 52 and I live in downtown Mechanicsburg, Pa. I am originally from Bradford county in northern Pa a town called Towanda, I am a graduate of College Misericordia with a B.S. in business Admin. I have lived in Baltimore, Md and Carlisle Pa for periods of time I have one brother and three sisters and several nieces and nephews. I am a volunteer at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg and a volunteer at the Mechanicsburg Museum where I live.

Thomas, what is your life like as an Autistic person?

I guess what I can say here is that being an autistic has its good and bad points for the good points I am learning alot about myself I am a member of an adult autistic support group which I really enjoy and i am also a board member of our local Autism society which gives me a chance to hear of our autistic community problems and try to help. I guess some of the bad points are of the sometimes loneliness and sometimes feeling of still being an outsider especially at family functions.

What is the most difficult about being autistic?

I kind of answered that one above but I will repeat that it can be a lonely time being I live alone and also sometimes feel I am still an outsider at family functions.  I have never dated and don't have a girlfriend which sometimes I wish I had someone special in my life.

What is the most joyful, fun, exciting thing about being autistic?

The best thing about being autistic is getting together with our support group for our group activities which we do a couple of times a month

How has the Autism Acceptance Day/Month effort over the past three years affected you personally? If you were not aware of it until recently, what meaning does Autism Acceptance Day/ Month have to you now?

To answer the first question I guess the only thing I can say is it really has not affected me personally other than I know a lot of my friends know that I am autistic and have accepted it because I too have written about my life as an autistic on facebook. I think Autism Acceptance day/Month means that I hope more people become aware of the autism community at large and become more aware and not look down on us

What is one thing about acceptance that would make a difference in the world?

The more people in  the world become aware of Autism the less likely they to be afraid of us and get to know those on the spectrum because all of us on the spectrum just want to have friends because we do have a very hard time making friends

1 comment:

  1. Hello Thomas, My name is Kerry. I used to live in Mechanicsburg and now I live in Phoenix. My mother went to College Misericordia and so did my sister. What a small world! I loved to read your interview. I identify as autistic, even though I am 42 and they didn't sort things out like that when I was in school. My son has Aspergers which is now called Autism. I love the Civil War Museum. Thank you for sharing your story. You seem very nice.


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