Building Relationships and A Career Path through Supportive Mentors
by Lud Kozlowski
At first, being identified by others as autistic offended me, whether it was by a doctor or just someone I met in passing. I knew there were times growing up and as an adult when I obsessed over a matter, and those times were awkward, but the thought of being autistic made me think of the movie “Rain Man.” I knew I was not Rain Man.
Two turning points stand out to me when I think about my autism diagnosis. Two important women, both named Rachel, helped me become better informed about how to succeed professionally. One evening, in 2014, I was talking to Rachel No. 1 over the phone. She and I had met online, and during one of our earliest phone conversations, she asked me, “Do you have Asperger’s?” I was intrigued by her random question, and so I asked her why she asked. She said, “It takes one to know one.”. . . To read the rest of Lud’s guest blog, please visit the The Autism Society of America website blog:
About Ludwik “Lud” Kozlowski
Ludwik “Lud” Kozlowski serves as the vice-chair of the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV/Film from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Arts degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. Kozlowski is a world traveler and self-advocate who presents professional development lectures at conferences across the United States. He also leads a monthly support group called Adults on the Autism Spectrum Monthly Support Group, which provides older adults on the autism spectrum the safe, open space to meet and socialize. If you would like more information or to contact Kozlowski, follow him on Twitter @Lud_Koz.
About the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this site, GCDD.arkansas.gov, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar.
About the Autism Society of America
The Autism Society of America has been improving the lives of all affected by autism for over 50 years and envisions a world where individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued. They provide advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community at national, state and local levels through a strong nationwide network of Affiliates. The Autism Society’s website, https://www.autism-society.org/ , is one of the most visited websites on autism in the world and their on-line resource database, Autism Source™ http://www.autismsource.org/ , and National Contact Center (800-3-AUTISM) provide information and service referrals to thousands of people each year.