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Find dairy/gluten free foods or books at Amazon including candy bars!
September 2012: My job is still going great. It's been over 8 months. I actually got a pay raise in mid August and I didn't even ask for one!
June 2012: I love my job and been successfully employed for five months. I been living alone for three months and love it!
March 2012: After making the 75 mile one way commute for two months, I couldn't wait moving closer to my job. So, I got my own apartment that happens to be about a mile from my job. No more commuting! I like being able to come home for lunch everyday. Continue
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My name is Eric. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 14 years old. Autism affects the brain in areas of communicating and speech. According to the Autism Society of America, 1 to 1.5 million Americans have some form of autism. Everybody with autism is different and autism affects each person differently at different degrees. YouTube has a lot of autism videos.
My form of autism is mild or high functioning/Asperger Syndrome. I view the world differently than other people. Most people do not think the way I think. I think and interpret stuff differently.
Some people think that everybody shows a few autistic (autism) characteristics. Just for fun, to see if you show any autistic characteristics, you may take a free quick online test at wired.com. You may e-mail me your score just for my own curiosity at email@example.com
How was my childhood? I was drunk during my childhood years. I drank everyday. Do you know what drink I had? Milk
Drinking milk got me the feeling of being drunk or high on drugs. It all has to do with the gut and the brain. Dairy and also wheat/gluten affected my brain during my childhood years. For more info on this and resources, click here.
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February 20, 2012: I got a new car, a 2012 Nissan Versa SV. I love it. I needed a more reliable vehicle when I'll be living alone than the 1991 Honda Accord I been driving before and been putting a lot of miles on with the commute.
January/February 2012: The commute been rough. I wish it is about 20 miles shorter and I can't wait until the end of the week. It takes about 1 hour and 20-25 minutes to get to work because of traffic. I guess it could be worst since a normal drive during non-rush hour is one hour and 5-10 minutes. A couple of days, it took two hours to get to work because of a car accident (assuming). One afternoon, it took about three hours (a three hour tour) to get home because of an accident that closed the interstate; I was at a stop for over an hour.
December 2011: I got a job! I got the call just a few days before Christmas. I start the second week of January. I'm going to be a Business Analyst for a health insurance company in the Nashville Tennessee area. My education and grad school is finally going to pay off.
The job is about 75 miles away, but is mostly freeway. I'm going to commute for a short while and then move closer. I'm confident I'll be ok making this drive everyday Monday-Friday.
I've graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems on December 17, 2011 and walked the line at MTSU. My final GPA is 3.3 out of 4.0.
Since my last update, I've had six face-to-face interviews, eight phone interviews (that did not move forward to a face-to-face interview), and two meetings with job hunters in Nashville (on the same day). The grand total of interviews is 41 (20 face-to-face and 21 over the phone) over the last three years and 31 (13 face-to-face and 18 phone) of those interviews were this year. I've actually interviewed twice at the same company, but it was just a phone interview with HR (same woman) and I have no idea if she remembered talking to me a few months earlier (even after a phone interview, that didn't stop me from applying at the same company). Overall, 40 companies to be in touch with is a lot, but I'm glad I finally got the job I deserve. It came down after a 10-15 minute phone interview, a 30 minute face-to-face interview, and a final phone screening with the request for references. The references helped close the deal. I've actually came close to giving up (after receiving bad news following a face-to-face interview that lasted three hours (four 45 minute interviews) at a company in October that went well), but I'm glad it turned out this way and now I can move on to this next phase in my life.
As of September 2011 I'm still job searching. Since the beginning of 2011, I had seven face-to-face and ten phone interviews. Most of these interviews were in Nashville or surrounding areas. This is about a 75 mile drive from home and is the reason for so many phone interviews. I don't request phone interviews, but they just prefer to talk to me on the phone first considering I don't live close. One phone interview led to a face-to-face interview and some of those phone interviews were HR phone screenings. I am obviously not telling them what they want to hear. I tell them about my college coursework, but I don't know what more I can tell them and don't understand why these interviews don't lead somewhere.
I've been to two job fairs. Also, I drove to Nashville to meet job hunters on three occasions and the meeting lasted about 15-20 minutes. Considering it's about a 1 hr. 10 min. drive, I spent more time on the freeway than in the meeting itself. But this is a drive I am comfortable making alone if I'm feeling normal (read March 2011 update below).
March 2011: Because of unfortunate circumcisions, I had to drop a course because of frequent dizzy spell incidents and missing too many classes. I felt uncomfortable driving in this condition. My parents drove me to a few classes and used a wheelchair to get me to class. So, I was able to finish three courses and drop that one since I missed more classes in it than the others. So, I'll repeat this course in the fall semester and graduate in December 2011. I'm still intending on getting a job soon since I'll only have one course in the fall (compared to 4 courses previous semesters). After seeing Specialists about my dizziness and unbalance feeling, I was diagnosed with Meniere's Syndrome (a form of vertigo). This may be trigged by stress and anxiety. The stress of going to class or driving to class, I can't explain why I get so anxious. I never get this feeling when driving to interviews, which you would think that would be stressful, but maybe since I had so many interviews, I'm used to them. This dizzy problem has been going on for some time, but seem to affect me more in February and March to the point where I felt uncomfortable driving, well I felt uncomfortable driving before and drove anyway and seem to drive good in this condition (never been pulled over by a cop regarding suspected drunk driver and I have drove by them). When it gets to a point where I felt like I might lose control of the car, I pulled over or actually stopped in the road (2 lane less travelled road) when there wasn't a place to pull over. In February, it felt my condition got worst and I feared of having a car accident if I pushed myself to drive. But I started driving again to my last few classes (like getting back on the horse) and it was better than before.
January 2011: I have one semester remaining of grad school and will graduate in May 2011. This will be my fourth graduation ceremony: High School, Motlow State Community College (Associate's Degree), Middle Tennessee State University (Bachelor's Degree), and finally Master's degree at the same university. I can't wait to get done, get a good job, and get on with my life (not that there is any hurry). I already started job searching and am applying for positions.
To help raise money for families affected by autism, I joined a fundraising website where you can make donations... Click here.
I started my job search again in April of 2010 hoping the economy would be better. I lost count of how many positions I applied for, but as of the fall of 2010 I had seven interviews (this includes three phone interviews). With the interviews last year, this totals ten interviews. I learned from each one and am getting more comfortable with interviews.
I decided to pursue a Master's Degree in Information Systems at MTSU in May of 2009 after I wasn't able to find a job. I took the admissions test and with my GPA of 3.14 was approved into the program for the fall semester of 2009. I had to take six required prerequisite courses and for the fall of 2010, I will be getting into the good stuff. I expect to complete this Master's by May 2011.
I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology on December 13, 2008. I can't believe I'm done!! I started looking for a job and had three interviews.
I'm on facebook.
There was an article about me in a local news paper, The Tullahoma News, during Autism Awareness Month in April 2008. Click here to read it.
In August 2006, I earned my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Information Technology! Visit my pictures page to see a photo of me in my cap and grown (bottom photo).
For the requirements for my degree, I took English Composition I and wrote my first essay about a few of my experiences as a child, click here to read it. (More stories are on my childhood stories page.)
In the spring 2007 semester, I took Sociology and wrote a 10 page research paper on capital punishment. Before I started the paper and in the beginning of the paper I felt overwhelmed, but I did a great job and got a good grade.
I have posted my essays in English Composition I and II, English Literature, and Sociology papers online.
You can now find a link to this website and all my other websites at www.ericsissom.com
This website was designed towards the end of 2004. My first website was designed in 2001 and my other websites followed after that, which are linked below in chronology order, which you may be interesting in reading also.
The Odd World of Autism (first version)
The Odd World of Autism (second version)
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