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Diagnosed with autism as an adult, one woman shares her story

Autism Speaks Walk
Posted at 5:06 PM, Aug 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-29 17:36:31-04

BALTIMORE — There are over 70 million children and adults affected by autism, each having their own special strength or challenge. Most are diagnosed as children but some are diagnosed much later in life.

Brandy Perkov is a mom, she babysits her grandchildren and also travels to North Carolina frequently to take care of her own mother. But on top of all her caring duties, she also deals with being autistic.

"I don't like stuff that's loud, I don't like being around a lot of people, I don't like a lot of things that a lot of other people like,” said Perkov.

It wasn't until the age of 42 that she was diagnosed when her regular doctor and therapist confirmed it with each other.

"It was like, finally I have an answer to what in the world, well not what in the world but why I am the way I am,” said Perkov.

Learning came easy growing up, Perkov stated she picked up things quicker than others, "I can calculate like this, and this is why I can figure out a foreign language is like, I could do that easier than I could do English. I spoke six languages in high school.”

But growing up in a time when autism wasn't a highlighted condition, she had to do what she could to fit in.

"Those of us who have grown up in the 70's and early 80's and it wasn't even talked about back then,” said Perkov. “You just get treated like an outcast or like you're different or you're strange.”

Looking back on those times she said more needs to be done to make people informed on the situation.

“It's not going to go away and you have to treat people as such. An autistic child does grow up to be an autistic adult and you have to be aware more people should be aware of that,” said Perkov.

After all the years of not knowing herself, Perkov is proud of the life she's built and come October 8 she's going to show it at the Autism Speaks Walk in Towson at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Perkov said, "I deserve to walk for myself is how I feel.”

Perkov is looking for others to join her in the walk. She created a team called Adult ASD's Too and is hoping to help others with autism reach their full potential.

Autism Speaks Walk is one of the biggest fundraising events for the nonprofit. If you would like to donate or join Perkov's team, click here.