Teen with ASD Loves Dogs, Art, and Cars
A National Institute of Mental Health website states that people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have "ongoing social problems" that include "difficulty communicating and interacting with others." Such difficulties may include having repetitive behaviors and limited interests or activities, and communication deficits impairing the person's ability to function at school, work, or socially. Symptoms usually become apparent the first two years of life.
Kenzie Smith, 17, of Hillsboro, Ohio, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome "three or four years ago," she said in a telephone interview. (Asperger's syndrome no longer exists as a diagnosis. Within the last year or so it has been lumped in with ASD.)
She said, "I was devastated (with the diagnosis) and thought, What? I have this? I wasn't very happy about it. I don't remember much else about it except I'm a little ashamed about (having autism). I just feel different than others. I don't really hang out with people much, but would like to. I feel like I bother people sometimes, especially around new people. Mostly they have to start the conversation or I feel like I'm bothering them."
Smith takes vocational school classes, studies graphics, and has befriended another student with high-functioning autism. Smith has played trombone in the school band and been a basketball cheerleader. Like many people diagnosed with ASD, she has special interests consuming much of her spare time, including, with her, a love of dogs, cars, and art.
As for dogs, she has three: 15-year-old Biscuit; Gracie, a dachshund mix; and Boxer, a pure-bred pit bull. She said, "Dogs are loyal, the most loyal animals on earth, and they are sweet. They pretty much love you more than they love themselves."
As for her love of cars and of art, she said, in part, "I've done drawings of cars and trucks, including a 1960 Chevrolet Apache, a 1965 Ford Mustang, and a 1968 Dodge Charger. I took up art in 2012. I'm starting on drawing another car this year. I draw other kinds of things too, including dogs." She and her father have plans to restore their aging Chevrolet Apache.
She advised young people diagnosed with ASD: "I would tell them they're not the only ones. Everyone has something wrong with them. Being different is okay. It's what makes them special and makes them, them." Although acknowledging having been diagnosed with one, Smith said she really didn't feel as if she had a disability.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesAchieve Tahoe to Host Ability Challenge Fundraiser at Squaw ValleyAlpine Meadows, CA - Achieve Tahoe, a leading provider of winter and summer adaptive sports instruction at all ability levels for adults and children with disabilities
Guys and Dolls at William Jessup University in AprilROCKLIN, CA. - William Jessup University's Creative Arts department presents Guys and Dolls for six weekend performances, starting April 7-8-9.
Prenatal Health Services to begin at Auburn Health CenterAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce that its Auburn Health Center will begin providing prenatal health services to patients starting this week.
Roseville Skatetown to Host Curling BonspielRoseville, CA -Brand New Barrel Bonspiel Brings 16 California Curling Teams to Roseville on March 24-26.
Placer Valley Tourism to operate Placer County FairgroundsAUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved Placer Valley Tourism, a private nonprofit organization, as the new operator of the Placer County Fairgrounds
Roseville Gas Price Competition StiffensRoseville, CA - Competition has stiffened as Roseville gas prices were mostly flat during this past week.
GoatHouse Brewing: Beer Tasting in the CountryLincoln, CA - Goathouse Brewing, a converted barn for beer lovers and country explorers in Lincoln, CA.
Check for Leaks during Fix a Leak WeekSACRAMENTO- Get ready to be a leak detective and do your part during Fix a Leak Week, March 20 through 26. The average home leaks more than 10,000 gallons
Sierra College, Placer Union HS District Joint Board MeetingRocklin, CA - The Sierra College Board of Trustees and the Placer Union High School District Board of Trustees will hold a joint board meeting at Del Oro High School
Ty Smith named California State Railroad Museum DirectorSACRAMENTO, Calif. - California State Parks has announced Ty Smith as museum director for the California State Railroad Museum, one of the world's premier railway museums
Roseville City School District Opens Region's First Student Ballroom(Roseville, CA) -Warren T. Eich Middle School will proudly unveil a newly constructed ballroom for their Advanced Ballroom students
Chrysler 300 remains appealing American sedanRoseville, CA - If you are a car-buyer who enjoys driving a big, powerful sedan and wants to purchase American, consider giving the Chrysler 300 a thorough look.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It