Living my Best Self-Determined Life!
My name is Chilton Moralls. I am a gamer and pixel artist, and I love Magic the Gathering. I am also an Autistic adult in the Self-Determination Program. I have been a part of the Regional Center’s traditional program for 17 years. When I was in high school, the traditional regional center services were not meeting my needs. I wanted to learn about social skills, but they wanted me to join groups where the only thing we had in common was Autism.
My diagnosis does not define me. I wanted to socialize with people who have common interests with me. I am also a non-traditional student. I was part of a vocational program that taught in a very traditional way, and it was simply not working for me. I was miserable, and it was making me feel like a failure.
Since I joined the Self-Determination Program, I have been able to use my person-centered plan to help guide my decisions of what I want to do. I am a strong self-advocate and did not want a team of people for my plan. I worked with my close-knit circle of support and created a plan that reflected my wants and needs.
This was challenging and exhilarating since many of these decisions were made for me up until this point. The person-centered plan was a great exercise to help me determine what my self-determined life would look like and not what other’s hopes and dreams were for me. I purchased a bicycle and helmet so I could get out in my community independently.
I changed vocational programs and am working with a person who understands my creative process and how I learn. We are working on my portfolio and developing my characters. I am using customized employment to help find a job in the field that I want to work in that utilizes my skills and talents while honoring my needs. I have a part-time job and have transportation, so I can get to work on my own. I have a few personal assistants that drive me to outings. We go out into the community to do the things that I enjoy when I want to do them, not on someone else’s schedule.
I get to choose who to hire, so I pick people who have similar interests to me so we have fun. I have help setting up, scheduling, and maintaining my Self-Determination Program. It is extra work compared to the traditional system. But it has changed my life completely. I love the independence and control it gives me. I am an adult, and I have the rights of an adult, and I don’t need to be fixed.
I am living my best self-determined life.
If you are a self-advocate or family member of a self-advocate, and are interested in sharing your story, please send an email to Comms@SCDD.ca.gov. No achievement is too small, and we want to celebrate you!
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