Catherine Abbott has lived with her diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, sometimes referred to as ASD, her whole life. She feels it is important to tell people without ASD of the conditions and thought processes of someone who has ASD.
Abbott commonly communicates her thoughts about how she lives life with autism through her writing. In 2015, she published a book on Amazon entitled Living With Autism: We Believe.
“My thoughts are that I need to share my point of view of how an autism mind works,” Abbot wrote.
Abbott explains in the introduction of Living With Autism: We Believe that it is hard to express herself easily. She said, “It was challenging to find topics to write about, but it’s worth it to get it out there.”
The book centers on daily events in Abbott’s life and how she deals with what she needs and what she wants. Her daily entries tell stories of her own life and give situations where it has been hard for Abbott to figure out what the situations requires of her.
Abbott’s style of writing, like a journal using dates to mark entries instead of using chapters, made the writing flow easier for her.
Hannah Jones, a personal friend of Abbott, has gotten to know her through church activities and day trips taken together.
“I have had the opportunity to not only see her succeed in publishing her book,” Jones said. “But I have also seen the hundreds of drafts and countless hours and heartaches and discouragements that she overcame to publish her book.”
One thing she included in one section of her book was the works of other people. She asked people to give accounts of different things they believe in, so that there were other points of view in the book.
Esli Carrillo was a friend of Abbotts before she was asked to write something for Living With Autism: We Believe.
Carrillo wrote, “This topic proved to be harder than I thought.” In the end, she wrote about honesty in relationships being key gaining friendships and wisdom.
Abbott took a few years during high school plus her freshman year at college, and a spent a lot of time out of her comfort zone to publish the book.
“Her hard work, tenacity and determination are great skills that help her overcome many roadblocks that she has to face with her disability,” Jones said.
Abbott is focused now on writing a follow up book with its title to be determined. She has over 50 pages written in the date entry format.
Abbott wants this second book to be published within the next year and she wants it to be a continuation of what she started in Living With Autism: We Believe with her new experiences of college and being in her early twenties.
“Catherine is a very hard worker and will stick to a task until it is complete,” Jones said.
Abbott is also saving to travel in Europe. She has used photography to express herself when words can’t. She wants to travel so that she can take pictures and write about what is in them in addition to her daily challenges with ASD
She wrote in her book that “It’s fun to travel to many places to see what people do and how they live.”
Abbott likes the idea of writing a continuation of her life every few years. She wants to continue giving her perspective as a person with ASD growing and learning to dealing with challenges
“One of my random thoughts is life is not perfect. We need to grow in life,” Abbott wrote.
Despite having ASD it is clear the nothing has ever held Abbott back before and nothing will hold her back now from her plans for the future.
“She has goals and dreams and she is willing to do absolutely everything she can to see those through,” Jones said.