For those living with autism, achieving your dreams can take a little longer than most people. That’s not to say it won’t happen, it just make take some extra effort.
There are often misconceptions surrounding people with autism, with the uninformed believing they can’t work, socialize, be productive, etc. The fact of the matter is, autism is a spectrum and there are different forms of the condition.
ABC’s new show, The Good Doctor, is doing their part to break the stigma. It follows a young doctor with autism and savant syndrome who is trying to fit in at his new job.
For Kelvin Smith, he knew his autism made him different, but it didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream.
”Ever since I was two, [my mom] knew I was different because how I knew my 12 times table by the time I was two,” Smith said. Smith says his mom is the one who helped achieved his goal.
It took 10 years, but Smith was finally able to appear on Jeopardy, and his strategy was fairly simple.
Smith told WIAT news that he studied past champions and read how they prepared for the show. Then he did the same. It all paid off for the Birmingham native, as he finally got to meet Alex Trebek and be on the show.
“It was an experience I will not forget, I can tell you that right now,” Smith said. “It’s a good message to send to other people with autism to know that you can do this, you can do this.”
Smith’s episode has not aired yet, and he’s bound by his contract to not reveal how he fared, but it’s safe to say he feels like he already won.
“Adrenalin was pumping through me and I loved it, I loved every moment of it,” Smith said.
Currently, Smith is enrolled in a doctorate program at Georgia Tech in Atlanta studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He also wants to start a charity for other autistic students who want to study Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM).
You can catch Kelvin Smith’s episode on Thursday, November 2nd!