Exciting news! The Able in this Diverse Universe Essay Contest is now open for submissions!
All submissions fees benefit the training and care of Noah Ainslie’s future Autism service dog, Appa.
Also exciting? One of our readers is none other than Dr. Kwame Brown.
The contest not only will help Noah, but it will also raise awareness about invisible disability and ableism, two issues near and dear to my heart (and many of my readers’ hearts).
From the Submittable:
Noah’s neurodiversity often manifests as sensory overwhelm. He has been learning coping mechanisms for six years, but still visibly struggles when it comes to conforming to neurotypical standards. He is high function on the spectrum which means he doesn’t “look like” he’s disabled. He is subjected to ableist expectations, often very aggressively and in public.
Noah has been called a brat, spoiled, selfish, bad and many other words that should never be applied to our youth due to his reactions to sensory overload. Noah has been rejected for his invisible disability. Even his psychiatric doctors have failed to understand the diagnoses they gave him and have labeled him as “oppositional,” telling his parents not to “reward” him for “defiance” when school becomes too much and he needs a written excuse to take a break.
Fortunately, his school is a supporter as is his pediatrician. Both have written letters in support Noah having a service dog. Because of that, Noah has been matched with a dog and trainer. Appa is that dog, a four-month-old Standard Poodle. In just a few days of bonding, Appa was already anticipating Noah’s needs and intervening as his anxiety grew. Right now, Appa is with his trainer learning how to be the best companion he can for Noah.
With Appa’s help, Noah will have access to the public spaces his anxiety prevents him from entering. More importantly, Noah will have a companion who loves him for who he is and does not judge his inability to conform to ableist public standards. To learn more about Noah, visit his GoFundMe page.
The winning essayist will receive $250 cash & publication right here on A True Testimony.
For the deets on the theme, the rules, and perhaps most enticing of all … prizes, go to the Submittable. Remember, everyone is a winner because every submission fee helps Noah get his service dog, Appa!