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The pain of feeling like a failure is real

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Danny Raede


I remember when my parents first sent me away from home in California to go to College Living Experience over in Denver, CO. It’s a very expensive program that helps kids with learning differences navigate the college world, gain some independence and begin to hopefully thrive in the world.

So there I was, sitting in my new apartment in Denver, just as my parents had left, wondering how the hell in the world I was going to do this thing called life. For about 2 years after that, I always felt like I had all these dreams, hopes & desires… yet they were eternally locked away.

I could see them, but never get to them.

I felt stuck. I felt scared. I often felt like I was failing in achieving my dreams.

A lot of the people with Asperger’s that I talk to express similar feelings. On our Beyond Defense Mode retreat last week, one participant said that they wanted to stop feeling like a disappointment to her family.

The frustrating thing is that there is help for people with Asperger’s up until age 18. Then, most of the services dry up. The help stops, just when you need it most.

So going back to my story, fast forward 8 years and here I am running the world’s largest advocacy and training organization for people with Asperger’s and their families.

People ask me all the time how I did it. What changed in me. How I got motivated to do more than sit in my room playing video games all day.

The answer? I followed a very simple roadmap (found here THE PATH). My parents followed the same roadmap, although we didn’t know it at the time.

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