401 Eron Way
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Hi! My name is John Toomey. Here is my story:
I was born in Michigan in 1983. I moved to Florida with the hope of working for a major theme park in 2004…I have been with them since. Throughout my early childhood and teenage years, I was bullied! I had no friends! I was subjected to all sorts of name calling…gay, fagot, etc. Whether that was true or not , that’s not the question, it’s that I was judged to be that way. At the age of 3, I was misdiagnosed with ADHD. It wasn’t until I was 16 that my family and I discovered that I had Autism. That was a shock to my family! I came to find out that I had “Asperger’s Syndrome.” A “high-functioning” form of Autism. To someone who didn’t understand my condition, they would get the impression that my jerks and actions would indicate someone of a feminine nature. These things I have no control over. I was misunderstood so many times!
In helping me to overcome the emotional scars of being bullied, I turned to the tv and the internet to watch and listen to stories of others. I ask myself. . .why does it continue to happen? If people understood what I had, would they have thought twice about treating me wrong? When some of them found out, they were very apologetic. . .but at that point who cares? I feel there is not enough people speaking out about this! It continues to happen everyday in schools and in the work place. I see it!
It has been a dream and a goal of mine to aide in educating people on the “negative” emotional effects of being bullied and harassed. What better way to reach people then through the media.
I am a simple person. I guess people with Autism are. I worked at McDonalds, which was a big accomplishment in my life. I was a contestant on “The Price is Right” and had the opportunity to meet Bob Barker. And now, I have been working at a major theme park for 8 years! I have overcome many challenging things but feel there is more in life I have to do.
I would love to get my story out there!
People with Autism CAN do things! People need to be respected regardless of their station in life. I keep a messy room and need to clean the inside of my car. . .I sometimes buy too many cleaning products and think that someone how it will clean itself. I own over 80 pairs of shoes and love to buy refrigerator magnets. Am I normal? Not according to the world’s standard…I am just being what I know to be…Myself!
I sometimes pace around the house at night wondering how I can help people who are like me. I know what it feels like to be isolated and alone and no one should feel that way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to continue to help other’s like me.
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