“People think I don’t understand them, but I do understand”: Local 22-year-old writes book about living with autism

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HUNTSVILLE Ala. - A local 22-year-old is doing big things.

"A lot of my friends came to me and asked what I was going to do after graduation; if I was going to go to college," said Robbie Clark. "I told them, I told some of my friends that I was just going to write a book about my life."

He's come a long way in his short life.

"I know, at times, people had a hard time understanding me and think that I don't understand them. But I do understand them," said Clark.

Robbie spent the morning, reading us a small piece from his book titled "In my words". The book is filled with short stories about living with autism. He started the book almost 4 years ago.  It's been a long journey getting to this point.

"When you get that first piece of paper that says he's autistic, your whole world crumbles. You just don't know what to do," said Maggie Clark, Robbie's Mom.

When Robbie was three, his parents were told that, "We needed to prepare ourselves. That we were being unrealistic; that he wouldn't be going to a regular school. That we'd be lucky if he was able to be schooled at all," said Clark.

Were there doubters? Sure. But, fortunately for Robbie, there were more cheerleaders in his corner. His parents moved him from Baton Rouge to Huntsville to give him the opportunity to go to school where they could teach him everything he desired to know. Thanks to a few great teachers believing in him, he did. His book proves that.

He's had a draft or two before finalizing a format. "It was something like, I don't know 23...I didn't keep track, I just kept going," said Robbie.

For the first time, Robbie feels like people will understand him, because his voice is finally being heard through his written word. His mom, Maggie, says the confidence gained from interest in his book has been worth the entire process. She hopes it sheds light for other families with children with autism to know what they can expect if they keep pushing forward.

Robbie just hopes it inspires someone else to do something great. "I know growing up is a hard thing to do. What is your dream? And feelings about yourself? The last thing you do is try not to give up," said Robbie.

Robbie says once his book is published he plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.

He is waiting to hear back about his second draft and then they will move forward with the publishing process. If you'd like to keep up with the progress, visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeofanautisticboy/?fref=ts

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