Aaron Allen shared his story ABC about the challenges he has faced in the forms of anxiety, depression, and bullying. Allen currently attends Del Valle High School in Texas where he is a member of the National Honors Society, a trainer for the football team, and a proficient coder who dreams of someday working for big companies like Google and Facebook.
Allen revealed in this interview with ABC that in Junior High School he nearly took his own life due to the abuse he received through being bullied.
During what he describes as the darkest time in his life, Allen mentions how his bullies were willing to “do things like throw things at me, take stuff out of my gym locker, and call me a lot of names.” The fact that he was on the autistic spectrum gave his attackers ammunition that they could use to tear him down.
Despite the toll that this bullying took on him, Allen persevered. While in Junior High School received his beloved service dog Roxy, who he credits in helping him get through his hardships by claiming that “It was this fuzzy face that saved my life.”
Allen would go on to be accepted into the Bank of America Student Leadership program, where he learned to confront his anxiety by being taught how to speak in front of large crowds. Allen talked about how it felt like a lot of pressure at first, but he was able to work through it. Now, with his new found confidence, Allen uses these skills as a platform to speak out against bullying and share his story. Allen plans on writing a book detailing his experiences, and hopes that it will inspire others to find the strength to overcome their own hardships and fears.
We at the American Autism Association encourage any of you who are looking for help or advice to contact us through our Help Hotline at 877-654-4483 or via email at [email protected]