This guest post is by Lincoln Lineberry, a young man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted and will be attending Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Lincoln is applying for the Spring 2019 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference. You can read more about the organization and how to apply for our scholarship here. You can help our scholarship program continue to help these students by making a donation to our scholarship fund here (the majority of our scholarship program is ran through donors from our community such as yourself so no matter if you could donate anything, whether it be $5 anywhere up to $5,000 it would be making a difference!).

My name is Lincoln Lineberry. I was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when I was three years old. I was non-verbal until I was about 5 years old, although I’ve been able to read since I was around 2 or 3 years old. Once my mom had realized this ability, she and my educators were able to help me to become verbal through the use of the written word. I don’t really remember this, it’s just what I’ve been told, because…

For most of my early childhood until around second or third grade, I thought I was like everyone else. I was well behaved, I was well controlled, and I had a goofier sense of humor, the only thing that was a bit odd was me taking a ‘guidance’ class, when no other students I knew took that class. However, things started getting a bit ‘heavy’ when my mother told me that I had Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

People with Asperger’s tend to have an intense and specific focus on one thing for a while and move on to another thing, like from Pokemon to Transformers, in my case. Sometimes, these focuses can get in the way of work and school. Back in middle school, I was into my own self-made crudely-drawn comic books starring a ‘superhero’ in a bunny costume, which I called “Bunniman”. Sometimes these got in the way of my learning, and I’d get sent down to the special education teachers. I still have this problem, but it isn’t as bad as it was in middle school.

I also had the itch to explore new places, sometimes off-limits. This habit of mine was a problem throughout my life until I made efforts to stop it in high school. My habit of ‘wandering’ wasted valuable class time, made me tardy, and was generally unpleasant. I want to make new friends, not to get angry with them. At the beginning of high school, my counselor helped me stop wandering. I also think it may have been the time where I disappeared for 4 hours after school during my freshman year, because I fell asleep in the relaxation room. My mom was so scared when I didn’t come home after school. By the time I woke up, and discovered my cell phone was dead, she had already called the cops and had them out looking for me. I think that helped me to realize I needed to be more responsible with being where I should and when I should.

Sometimes, I don’t have friends like my peers do, mainly because I don’t have any desire. I had a girlfriend from fifth grade until seventh when she broke up with me, and since then I haven’t had a girlfriend since. I think it’s OK, though. I really don’t relate all that well with my peers. I do have friends, but I really don’t hang out with them much outside of school. It’s not that they don’t like me, and not that I don’t like them. I think it’s mostly that we like different things, and I have a hard time tolerating things I don’t like. It might be their behaviors, or it might just be the kind of television shows they watch, or music they listen too.

My family and teachers have helped me to find a balance of being social, and finding alone time when I need it. Mostly I use my creativity in animation and video production to help me interact with my peers. This is what my video series Lincoln on the Streets is all about. Living with autism isn’t always easy but I find ways to push through.

Follow Kerry’s journey on Facebook, his Facebook Fan Page, & Instagram!

Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue a post-secondary education. Help us continue to help students with autism go to college by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit here.

Also, consider having Kerry, one of the only professionally accredited speakers on the spectrum in the country, speak at your next event by sending him an inquiry here. If you have a referral for someone who many want him to speak please reach out as well! Kerry speaks with schools, businesses, government agencies, colleges, nonprofit organizations, parent groups and other special events on topics ranging from employment, how to succeed in college with a learning disability, internal communication, living with autism, bullying prevention, social media best practices, innovation, presentation best practices and much more!

We’d also appreciate if you could take a minute to create a Facebook Fundraiser to support our nonprofit’s scholarship fund! You can learn more about how you can do just that here.