The Autistic Naturalist

The three principal aspects of my life that define me the most are first I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon), second I am autistic, and last I am a lover of nature and animals. These three things are a core part of whom I am. My faith gives me guidance and strength. Autism has helped me to think outside of the box and be creative. My love of animals has helped to connect and empathize with other people.
I was born and raised in the LDS Church. I have a firm testimony in the living gospel of Jesus Christ and in latter day prophets. The gospel and the teachings of the Book of Mormon have helped me through the challenges I face. The gospel has encouraged me to draw closer to God’s creations. Being autistic and being an active member of the church is a constant struggle in my life.
I was born with autism but didn’t receive the diagnosis of Asperger's till I was twelve. My mom always wondered why I struggled with making friends and basic social skills, it wasn’t until a counselor told her about Asperger’s that my mom thought to have me tested. Receiving the diagnosis has helped me better understand and appreciate who I am. It also aids me in improving on areas where I struggle. When I was fourteen, I developed a fascination for psychology and studying autism. Along with autism I also deal with mental illness, fibromyalgia, asthma, and multiple chemical sensitivity. I desire to be an advocate for autism, mental health, and disability.
The greatest thing about autism is my ability to bond with animals. I love animals, and I am very quick to pick up on animal behavior. I understand animals better than people. I hope to become a wildlife educator and instill in people a love and respect for wildlife and nature.
Aside from animals I am passionate about writing and reading. I enjoy reading a diversity of literature like classics, historical fiction, factual books, etc. My favorite genre is high fantasy. I am currently working on a high fantasy novel where the key heroine is both blind and autistic. I enjoy gardening, cooking, hiking, movies, puzzles, and medieval weapons. That is when I have enough spoons
Ultimately, I hope to live life to the fullest. I want to be a positive influence in the way people think about disabilities and neurodiversity. I hope to utilize my talents as a writer to inspire, help, and encourage others.