An Autistic Girl's Experience by Asha Sreedhar

Most of the people today don’t know what is “autism”? It is not a disease which you can cure with medications. It is a disability and some people find out when they are young and others when they are old. But now more and more individuals are having autism. It is actually more in boys than girls. Some individuals are on the severe level and others are on the mild level. But all individuals with autism are unique, different, and smart in their own ways. They like to work nicely with superior attention-to-detail skills. It is now recently becoming known to most of the people. All the organizations and companies have started opening doors to hiring individuals with autism after learning about SAP’s Autism at Work Program. Now, most of the non-profit organizations have developed to help individuals with autism and schools have started helping children with autism.

When I was a small toddler living in Africa, no one knew what autism was (I also didn’t know what was wrong with me as I was still a child). But the school kids and staff still accepted me for who I was and used to include me in all of the activities despite my autism disability. I had a very good experience in that country and used to enjoy being around them and they used to call me for their birthday parties and also to their houses to play with them. But as the academics started becoming harder for me, my family and I took a decision to move to US (especially for me). I was nervous and sad at the same time as I was leaving my home country with good friends and a nice lifestyle to pursue help for my autism disability. I didn’t know how life was going to be for me in US.


When I moved to US at age 9, I got diagnosed by the school staff as autism spectrum disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome. It was a different experience with both bad and good things. The kids would tease, taunt, bully, and exclude me from their activities so it was difficult to make friends with them as I was completely different (I used to miss the school and kids in Africa a lot due to this problem). Not only that, I was new to the country so I didn’t have any knowledge about the American culture and life. The kids didn’t understand my autism disability and which country I was from as their thinking was different and they totally lacked general knowledge about other countries outside US. The school staff was nice, encouraging, and supportive. They provided me speech therapy and special education services (until 6th grade) which helped out and made improvements for me. But somehow, I completed my school education and graduated from high school.

I enrolled myself in a 2-year community college as I was not ready to attend a 4-year university due to a fast-paced environment. I also had a hard time making friends with the college students as I was completely different from them but managed to focus on my studies. I got inducted into the honor society due to my good grades and participated in many community service activities. I graduated from college with highest honors.

I worked in a few jobs related to my college major in the healthcare field. It was hard for me working with normal people as they didn’t understand my autism disability. Not only that, it was also hard for me to sustain employment in that field as it required extensive multi-tasking and customer service interaction.

I moved to India with my parents and took a software testing course and internship at an institute. I went through EnAble India’s Autism at Work Program with 10 boys. I was the only female and it was fun with them. I got selected for SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. as a Quality Associate Position and that is still where I am working today.

But today, most of the people are aware of autism. After I started working and educating the workers about autism, they came to know and learn about it. But everyone provides support, encouragement, and help in the workplace for me.

Till now there is a lot of research going on about autism and how it develops for an individual but it is hard to find a cure for it.

I like going out with my mother to meet individuals with autism and talk to them. Some of them are employed and working while others are having a hard time finding employment. All of the organizations and companies should follow SAP’s Autism at Work Program Initiative and start hiring and providing training to individuals with autism. No person should get left behind.

~ Asha Sreedhar

23 Comments

  1. Thanks very much for posting this Preeti. The write up has come out nicely with my photo and I really appreciate it.

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    1. You are most welcome, Asha. It is always a pleasure to read your write ups.

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  2. Beautiful Asha! You are a role model to many. More power to you! Wishing you the very best in all your future endeavors!

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    1. Thanks very much for the supporting words Kaavya. I really appreciate it and hope for the same in the future.

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  3. Very impressive Asha. Thanks for sharing the hope, inspiration and light. Wish you all the bestπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ’πŸ’

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    1. Your welcome Muthu and thanks for the kind words.

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  4. Hi Asha it's wonderful that you were accepted as you are in Africa. It's heartwarming that without any diagnosis they understood how to deal with it. Wishing best for you

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    1. Thanks very much and autism is viewed differently around the world.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. God bless you

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    1. Your welcome Swarna and highly appreciate your support and encouraging words.

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  6. God bless you for all the hard work Asha, your journey through 3 countries is interesting and inspirational. Thanks for sharing it for the benefit of many others.

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    1. Thanks very much Ushma and it was interesting living in 3 different countries. That is absolutely true and hope it brings inspiration and benefit to others.

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  7. Thus was really encouraguing. Made me more postive about my daughter. Sargam sends you hugs and kisses...Keep rising high and keep encouraging others....

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    1. Thanks very much Suman and I will continue to keep rising high. I will also try to help others.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your experience and supporting others Asha!

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  9. I have read your journey earlier also Asha. Everytime I read your story, it gives me hope and and motivates me to move forward. You are an inspiration to many... Wish you very best and keep inspiring always πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

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    1. Thanks very much for the kind, supportive, and encouraging words. I really appreciate it and I am glad you are reading my stories.

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  10. Excellent Asha. Very good message and Awareness about Autism to our social group. They are very special and talented one to deserve the right opportunities.

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    1. Thanks very much Pravin and that is absolutely true. Very well stated.

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  11. i love the fact how disability was converted into opportunity and u r doing the best of it... inspired in perfection you see in everything you do

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    1. Thanks very much Apurva for the kind, supporting, and encouraging words. Highly appreciated.

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  12. It is truly a well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so engaged in this material that I couldn’t wait to read. Read more info about Online Speech Therapy Programs. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thanks.

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