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    Posted March 28, 2012 by
    Natick, MA, Massachusetts
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Life with autism: Share your story

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    A Desire to Make a Difference


    Hello! My name is Gretchen, I am twenty-six  years old, and I have Asperger's Syndrome. I was not diagnosed until I was twenty three years old.


    Ever since I was very very young, I knew that there was something special I would do one day to make a difference. I thought maybe I would be a doctor or a maybe a fire fighter- just someone who makes a difference.


    As years went on, I found I had a lot of difficulty making friends. I spent a lot of time on my own. I decided one day I wanted to write a poem. And that one poem turned into a couple hundred poems. I was able to publish two books of poetry but I didn't feel like it was enough and I didn't feel like the statement either book made were going to be much help to anyone.


    So recently, I have found my passion in life and that is to spread Autism Awareness. I am hoping that one day I will be able to somehow make a career out of it but for now I am trying to find different ways to spread awareness.


    Very recently, I was sitting at home and I suddenly had the idea to write a children's book about sensory issues for children on and off the spectrum to build awareness. I finished the manuscript rather quickly and was referred to an illustrator who is also on the Spectrum and she is currently working on the illustrations.


    My dream and my biggest hope is that there will be a publisher with an open mind and open heart who will want to publish this book.


    Anyways, that is my story. I'm no one extraordinary. I've actually got a rather mild case of Asperger's Syndrome I guess as I have seen others struggle much more with it but I wanted to share it anyways.


    Gretchen Leary


    (My two books are written under my maiden name Gretchen Gundel)

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