I’m Not Broken: What this Washington reporter with autism wants you to understand.

Not a year out of col­lege and less than two months in­to my job at Na­tion­al Journ­al, I did something that I al­most im­me­di­ately re­gret­ted. It was a Wed­nes­day morn­ing in April, and mem­bers of the Sen­ate Fin­ance Com­mit­tee were fil­ing out of a room in the Dirk­sen Sen­ate Of­fice Build­ing to go vote; I was sit­ting at the press table in the room. As the com­mit­tee’s chair­man, Sen. Or­rin Hatch, was pre­par­ing to exit, I leapt up and yelled a ques­tion at him.

Quickly, the of­ficer next to me warned that if I did that again, I could be ar­res­ted for dis­rupt­ing a hear­ing. I cringed and apo­lo­gized pro­fusely to the of­ficer. I don’t re­mem­ber the spe­cif­ics of what Hatch said in re­sponse to my ques­tion; by that point, everything was clouded by my sense of hu­mi­li­ation.

On the sur­face, it was a simple mis­un­der­stand­ing—a young re­port­er mak­ing a rook­ie mis­take. But what the of­ficer al­most cer­tainly didn’t know is that I am on the aut­ism spec­trum.

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Date posted: December 8, 2015. Content created by The Autism NOW Center. Last updated: December 8, 2015.

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