Many say that people with Autism cannot be successful and can’t get anywhere except behind a computer, programming. One of many people’s most disgraceful confessions is that those people almost believed the ones spreading the hurting words. However, every day it is found that they are proven wrong and that people have something more to say for those who are bullied, taken advantage of, and ignored.
Spencer Hayes is one of those people that inspires everyone around him to accept that you don’t choose your challenges, but you do choose whether or not you can overcome them.
Hayes said, “I’m just trying to be the best I can, sometimes I’m not good at it, but I just try.”
High school years are incredibly difficult times for all of us, but Hayes finds it difficult because of the bullies on social media and even within Timber Creek. This is a huge problem within the Autistic community. According to The Interactive Autism Network, 63% of 1,167 children with autism between the ages of six to 15 have been bullied. That is a total of 736 children within that 1,167 that have been bullied.
“People make jokes about Autism and there are memes that are pretty insulting and sometimes people insult me for that,” Hayes said. “It hurts, it really sucks but I have to push through it.”
Hayes, while being a part of the 736, chooses to ignore what they say and be who he wants to be. Not all people are bad, in fact, most support him and his different ways of thinking. His parents are heavily involved in helping him find his niche in this world.
“Spencer wants to live an independent life,” said Spencer Hayes’s parents, Steve and Glenda, “and we see our role as Spencer’s parents is to help him understand how to navigate the world.”
In the midst of this navigation, Spencer Hayes found that he was interested in journalism and especially found a passion within TCTV.
Hayes said, “With TCTV you have an actual purpose, you feel accomplished for it.”
Spencer Hayes didn’t just find this passion, he found an inspiring person within TCTV: Spencer Espino.
“Espino is in these classes like journalism and theater and I just want to be as good as he [is],” Hayes said.
The people within TCTV support Hayes as a peer in their class. Many peers, such as Madison Galer and Georgia Straub, haven’t noticed the effects of his disability as they worked alongside him in TCTV.
“Spencer is incredibly involved with TCTV and is always there to offer ideas for new concepts, he is truly an important part of the TCTV family,” Straub said
His peers in the Timber Creek community who are not involved in TCTV could see him towards the beginning of the year when he was anchoring for the television. They are beginning to notice him and his talents.
“People really like me, it’s starting to happen,” Hayes said.
These talents have always been there, but thanks to TCTV, those talents are now being put to good use and Spencer Hayes has found a goal he can pursue.
Hayes said, “[My parents] say everything is going to be fine and it’s going to work, and in the end it does work and everything does go fine.”