We’re extremely excited about this new series “Love, Emily” focusing on content created by our very own and very much loved Emily Stekardis. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder five years ago and wants to share her voice with you. She will offer some different perspectives that will open our minds and fill our hearts. I’m very proud to introduce you to…Emily Stekardis!
“My name is Emily Stekardis. I am 23 years old from Prospect, Kentucky. I graduated from the University of Kentucky in May of 2022 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communications and a Minor in Media Arts and Studies.
I have always had a passion for music, the music industry, and pop culture. In college, I hosted my own weekly radio show and I would love to work in radio again in the future. I like K-pop music and my favorite group is Stray Kids. I also love to sing and I have been singing my whole life. I am passionate about animals, especially my 4 year old Shih-tzu named Harlow.
In May of 2018, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I was 18 years old and just about to graduate from high school. For me, getting diagnosed so late was surprising, but also eye-opening. I was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age (7 years old) and I was getting treatment for that specific diagnosis most of my life. In school I had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that helped me to be successful. I also went for different therapies and took medication to help me.
The treatments helped me but I still felt like something wasn’t right. I was still having trouble in social situations, making friends, and also making eye contact. These issues caused me to have anxiety. I had repeat testing done right before graduating from high school and that is when I got the diagnosis of ASD. It took me some time to accept my diagnosis, but over time it started to make sense and I realized that those feelings and behaviors I had growing up were because of my ASD. I went to college and received accommodations and I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree! I continue to receive treatment in my daily life.
I believe that my experiences, knowledge, and point of view could be helpful to people on the autism spectrum and I’m looking forward to sharing them with My Autism Tribe.”