Living With Autism

Mrs. Prinslow was my kindergarten teacher. Three days into the school year, she called my mother. I knew how to read, write, and do math, and that was the basic curriculum. She asked my mother if I should move to first grade or if she could create a "personal" curriculum for me. My mother chose the latter, and I have fond memories of singing and playing in kindergarten.

Unknown to my mother, Mrs. Prinslow, or anyone else for the next 20 years, I had high-functioning autism and was still in the formative years where people, and education, could make a significant difference. Mrs. Prinslow's last year teaching after decades of experience was my own, and by her expertise created the perfect environment to learn coping skills that enabled me to function (and also go undiagnosed) for years.

I don't know how much of an influence she had on me, or what would have happened if I had moved to first grade. But I'm grateful for her and for the life I have today knowing that she was definitely a part of it.

David Peterson