My name is Katrina-Marie. When I was in elementary school, I was diagnosed with Language Difficulties and Learning Difficulties. I had to attend special education classes, which was embarrassing but helped me learn, too. Come Middle School, I was officially diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) Inattentive, wherein my head is always in the clouds or in a fantasy world, making learning difficult. In my twenties, after a thorough psychological evaluation, I was diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder-Predominantly Inattentive Presentation. By then it was almost impossible to get support for an adult with Autism Spectrum. I also developed anxiety attacks that became more severe the higher my stress level.
I managed to get a Part-time job, but I have minimum pay with no health benefits, no paid sick time, and no paid vacation time. I have a number of health problems where the medications, hospital visits and doctor office visits are mostly covered by my parents. I was also rejected by Medicaid because I do not have a total disability and I can work. With the little money I make currently, I can’t move out of my parents’ house and that makes me feel like a burden to them. I have been looking for a full-time position but it is still difficult even with a college degree. I have difficulty with eye contact which, I believe, affects my interviews.
Presently, my heaviest burden are my student loans. I have applied for student loan forgiveness, but was rejected because the Autism spectrum is not considered as a total disability. I want to at least get rid of my student loans, so I can focus more on getting a full-time job and help my parents out when I can. Even just a little will help. If I am able to reach my goal, it will give me hope of a better tomorrow for myself and for my family.
- Gloria Lacson
- Vic Medrano
- MA SOCORRO MARTINEZ
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