Glad you’re doing it. I volunteered for a year straight working at a school for kids with cerebral palsy, autism, downs and other things. Best year and my enthusiasm was natural but it still had its moments that were not easy.
I was going to go into special ed teaching (either “slow” or “gifted”- either side of bell curve has similar issues which say more about the inadequacies of the school system than it does about the kids), but life took me in other directions so far.
Paid for a test once – it confirmed what I knew but I was shocked to see a test could pick it out: it’s the right career for me, but I use those types of skills in other interactions, such as dealing with people irl and online, so it’s all good.
From age 2-4, went to a cerebral palsy center as they diagnosed me with it. Whatever physical / occupational therapy they did helped.
In my early 20s I repaid the favor by volunteering for a year to help others in that same school.
Closing the loop like that to make a full circuit is an amazing feeling and you’re the first person I talked to with a similar experience.
Your success is in my thoughts now.
I suspect I would’ve been better served in a school for autistics (as I’m pretty sure I’m in there) but at the time, autism had a VERY restrictive definition — too many people on the spectrum were missed completely as the movies used old stereotypes of “shocking cases” and fundraising organizations, then as now, often do more harm than good in perpetuating negative stereotypes.
Might be similar but not the same. Even identical twins aren’t identical people for the moment you’re awareness kicks in, they’re each getting unique inputs fostering unique thoughts. Might be similar, but not identical.