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  • Writer's pictureJeannie Tribe

Faces of Autism Corben

April has traditionally been Autism Awareness month, but we are trying to do more than become aware, we are driven to accept! I have been planning this campaign for months and have had the absolute PRIVILEGE of photographing some of the most AMAZING people! Throughout the month of April we will be featuring them and their stories. I pray that you find love for these INCREDIBLE humans and their passions!

Hi, I’m Corben. I’m technically 10 348/365 years old 5 th grader who was diagnosed with Austim 1 year

ago, but was diagnosed with Anxiety and ADHD when I was 4.

I am VERY literal and have DEFINATE ideas. When people DO NOT repeat back WORD FOR WORD what I

have said, I get frustrated (so throw out your Active Listening training everyone)!

I LOVE my dog Rissa, riding bike, jumping on the trampoline with my neighbors, playing XBOX Kinnect,

Minecraft or Roblox. I wish I could hang out (online) more with my cousin Ruby because she is fun.

Here’s what Autism looks like for me.

For starters, I’m a “Super Taster” which basically means I have super sensitive taste buds and can tell if

you are switching a brand or put in an extra ingredient. This means things that may not bother you can

bother me A LOT.

Noises really bother and distract me. I go to a Spanish Immersion school and can tell if you are using the

right accent. I am not shy to tell you when you are not doing it correctly. At school, I ask my friends if I

am talking too much or being too social so they help me. I sometimes try to sit where it is quieter.

I feel most comfortable when I have schedules and know what is going on. Leaving the house is not easy

for me and I’m not sure why. If I do have to go somewhere I might get really anxious before I go, hold it

together while I am away, then explode when I get in the car.

If you want to know what Autism is like for me, read the book series, “A Boy Called BAT”. The main

character, BAT is just like me!

Here’s what Mom and Dad say.

Transitions have never been easy for Corben and this past year with COVID (and his school mostly in

Distance Learning from March, 2020-February, 2021) has been a real challenge. With the fun parts of

socializing with friends taken away there were many weeks he refused to do any school work.

It seems Corben learns best verbally. As a baby we tried teaching him sign language but gave up when

he started clearly saying exactly what he wanted. He still would rather talk to you than write, type or

read…which is a challenge in getting school assignments completed.

Corben has always been a very sensitive, old soul who has been able to tell us exactly what he is feeling.

His confusion over the lack of peers being able to reciprocate emotions was one of the characteristics

that lead to his diagnosis. He has always seemed to seek out friendships with girls, possibly for the extra

“emotional drama” they can bring.

With years of therapy already under his belt, it’s no surprise that he talks about being a therapist



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