Autism is often associated with children. But autism is actually a life long diagnosis that stays with you through adulthood. I went to the Southern part of the Aroostook County to meet with a 52-year old woman with a lengthy list of accomplishments and an autism diagnosis.
Deborah Lipsky is working on her next book. She’s already published 4. In fact writing isn’t her only skill, she travels the country giving presentations and seminars on managing autism; and she speaks from experience.
International Author and Expert on Autism Deborah Lipsky said, “Most of us are high functioning. Most of us like you wouldn’t even tell that I would have autism you know when you just see me right now unless I get stressed or go off script or something happens in which case it’s a different picture.”
Deborah was born with autism but wasn’t diagnosed until she was 44. Up to that point she was diagnosed with everything BUT autism. And ever since she’s made autism work for her instead of against her; and she’s even built a career around it.
“Once you understand autism, once you understand how we think and how we feel, you will be much better adept at being able to manipulate the environment so that it’s copesetic for all people involved,” said Lipsky.
Deborah lives at the Sabbath Farm in Linneus with her husband John and all of her animals in a therapeutic environment. Deborah and her husband don’t have a typical romantic relationship. They have a partnership that works for them.
“I am not able to live independently I have never lived independently I never can. I can’t manage, macro manage everything you know all the things that required in keeping a house and everything my husband really is sort of like my life coach,” said Lipsky.
Deborah’s husband John Lipsky said, “She does have breakdowns occasionally, meltdowns, so you just have to back off and give her her space.”
Deborah’s husband is a Vietnam war Vet and she’s a collector of military memorabilia. Deborah likes to collect all kinds of things and has quite a few hobbies. Whether it’s writing another book or wildlife rehabilitation..
Deborah’s husband John Lipsky said,”You name it, she’s done it.”
In the word DISability Deborah has always focused on her ability.
“Autism is who I am it’s part of me it’s part of my makeup. In the world of autism we can make it we’re not different and that’s my goal if we’re allowed our accommodations that’s what we need to do in order to be successful, anyone can be successful I had no services, I had no services growing up my mother was just winging it,” said Lipsky.
Her lengthy list of accomplishments is a testament to how someone with autism CAN be successful.
“When a person with autism puts their mind to something and gives it 120% by golly they will find a way to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve,” said Lipsky.
And the next achievement Deborah is working towards is a book on aging and autism.
Deborah is also writes a column for the Autism Society of Maine and she says her farm in Linneus is always opened to people with disabilities for animal therapy and she never charges.
If you’d like to hear her speak, she’s actually going to be at the Autism Challenge Dinner and Auction for Autism Awareness this Saturday at UMPI. The event starts at 5 and tickets are still available. To purchase tickets, contact [email protected]