Andrew joine our Vocational Visions ADP program in 2015. Read his letter to Governor Newsom sharing his thoughts about the difficulties of dealing with isolation during COVID-19. This article was first published in our December 2020 newsletter.
My name is Andrew Regueiro.
I want to tell everyone about how it feels to be an autistic adult during COVID-19. I am lucky to be a client of Vocational Visions because they help me to try and understand why things have shut down and why I cannot do the things I like to do. I am also lucky to get to go to work at Buy Buy Baby with my great job coach Matthew.
It is still hard for me and my friends because we need to socialize and we need to be able to go out in the community. We want to be able to have fun and practice our social skills. I get upset when Governor Newsom shuts down everything because I feel like he does not understand how hard it is for someone like me to be at home all the time and to not be able to see my friends and do things with them.
Wearing a mask is also hard because I cannot see people’s faces, so I do not get to practice learning about people’s expressions. I feel really disappointed to not be able to go to the places I like such as Disneyland, the movie theatre and bowling because they are all closed. I want things to open and go back to normal. I hope things will go back to normal so we can all socialize, make new friends and visit all the places we like.
Thank you Andrew for sharing your thoughts during this time. You are not alone in your feelings.
Andrew decided to take action and write a letter. He was originally going to send the letter to Governor Newsom but he decided that he should send it directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. And so he did. We are proud of Andrew for taking the initiative to let his voice be heard and we're all very much looking forward to things getting better and life returning to normal.
To the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court:
I am an autistic 27-year-old client of Vocational Visions in Mission Viejo, California.
The governor of our state has shut down places like Disneyland and movie theatres. These are the places that my friends and I enjoy visiting. We have not been able to socialize with each other because of all the governor’s orders. Many clients at Vocational Visions have not even been able to go to work. We do a lot of Zoom meetings but it’s not my favorite thing to do because I don’t get to be with my friends.
I know we have to be safe, but the shutdown causes people like me to feel depressed and worried. We just want our freedoms returned so we can live our lives, socialize, go to work and go out in the community. Please help end the shutdown and help my friends and I to feel happy and free again.