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For All Abilities

Nov 9, 2020

For this episode, we interviewed Cassidy Hooper about living with Turner Syndrome. 

Betsy Furler  0:05   Welcome to for all abilities, the podcast. This is your host, Betsy Furler. The aim of this podcast is to highlight the amazing things people with ADHD, dyslexia, learning differences and autism are doing to improve our world. Have a listen to for all abilities, the podcast, and please subscribe on whatever podcast app you're listening to us on. Welcome back to for all abilities, the podcast. This is your host, Betsy Furler. And I'm back here today to talk to yet another amazing person with Nord neurodiversity, and he's going to talk about her life and how she's using her skills as a person with autism to make a difference in this world. So well show Cassidy Hooper, how are you?  Cassidy Hooper  1:00   I'm good. How are you better see the sunrise, your podcast? Yes. So  Betsy Furler  1:05   I'm so excited to have you. So why don't you introduce yourself real quick to our audience?  Cassidy Hooper  1:11   Yes, of course. So I'm Cassidy Hooper. First, I'm from North East Mississippi. And I was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Turner Syndrome. When I was nine days old, and at around 17 years old, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism. And as far as neuro, neuro diversity, and what I do for the autism community is I do some advocacy work for the art of North East Mississippi. I am the community navigator for the autism now division within the ark. And um, yeah, so that's a little bit about me.  Betsy Furler  1:57   So what were you like as a little girl? What do you remember about your childhood? I guess, you your diagnosis you knew of when you were little was Turner Syndrome?  Cassidy Hooper  2:07   Yes. Um, well, as a child, I was always really sick. Um, but I was in the hospital for a while. But, um, I didn't walk until I was around like 19 months. And so yeah, that's, that's pretty much all I know, for my childhood. Um, I was pretty much sick. Throughout.  Betsy Furler  2:38   What about school? Did you enjoy going to school?  Cassidy Hooper  2:41   Yeah, um, for me, it was hard to always stay to myself most of the time. I didn't really connect with the other, my peers, um, with other kids? Very much. I just stayed to myself most of the time, but I think I've gotten better socially, as I've gotten older. Um, so yeah.  Betsy Furler  3:08   What about in high school did you do in? Were you in special ed classes? Or were you in general ed classes?  Cassidy Hooper  3:14   general ed? Oh, good. Okay. Good.  Betsy Furler  3:17   And in high school, did you do band or any extracurricular activities? Or did you pretty much just stay with the academic classes?  Cassidy Hooper  3:26   I stayed with the academic classes pretty much my entire high school career.  Betsy Furler  3:33   Did you what kind of grades did you make? Did you do okay, or was it hard for you?  Cassidy Hooper  3:38   Yeah, I did pretty good. Um, I was actually, when I graduated high school. I was for highest ranking in my class with honors when I graduated high school, so  Unknown Speaker  3:52   I, yeah, he got really well.  Cassidy Hooper  3:55   Yeah. So that's cool. Yeah. What  Unknown Speaker  3:59   did you do after high school?  Cassidy Hooper  4:02   Well, I went to a local community college, but it didn't work out. So I'm now currently not going to college anymore. So yeah, it didn't work out. Because no, I had to take a math elective. And that's my worst subject. I had visual spatial awareness issues. So math was really a struggle for me. And I had to take college algebra. So yeah, yeah. So it was difficult. So that college wasn't for me. So I was drew and but yeah,  Betsy Furler  4:46   yeah, college is not for everybody, right, and doesn't necessarily even give us the skills we need. So what have How did you have you had any other jobs besides the job at the arc that you're currently doing?  Cassidy Hooper  5:00   Well, I, I went to rehab, called Building words. But that didn't work out either. So it wasn't a good fit for me. So  Betsy Furler  5:15   what kind of jobs did they have you doing  Cassidy Hooper  5:17   over there? Why would like woodworking and things like that, like factory work?  Betsy Furler  5:24   probably wasn't good for somebody with visual spatial challenges either, right?  Cassidy Hooper  5:31   Yeah, exactly.  Betsy Furler  5:32   Doesn't sound like a good, good fit for your strengths.  Cassidy Hooper  5:36   Yes, exactly.  Unknown Speaker  5:39   So how did you come up with the arc?  Cassidy Hooper  5:42   Um, I got involved, I connected with the president Cheryl file zone of the arc of Northeast Mississippi chapter locally here. And she, we met, and she just thought that would be a good fit to volunteer at the art as the community navigator. So right now it's a volunteer position. But it's awesome to know advocate for individuals with autism. As someone with autism, I think it's really important to have that experience and to mentor other individuals with autism. So that's been great. Yeah,  Betsy Furler  6:35   I agree. Because they're things that you don't know. Unless you've lived it yourself.  Cassidy Hooper  6:41   Yes, absolutely.  Betsy Furler  6:43   So tell me what kind of things do you do for your Do you call them clients are? What do you call the people that you work with?  Cassidy Hooper  6:52   No, no. Um, well, right now, because of the pandemic, it's hard to get the programming going for this division? Uh, huh. No, with the pandemic and all. So we're trying to do some fundraising and things like that to get it going. And, yeah, so it's been tough, you know, with the pandemic, but we're trying to get it going. And, yeah,  Betsy Furler  7:22   that's amazing. So what is your dream for what you would like to do in the future?  Cassidy Hooper  7:30   for the future, I would like to become a mentor for other individuals with autism. And just, you know, know that they're not alone. And they can be any time they want to be. They can be, they can have a job, they can do anything they want to do in our lives. And autism shouldn't stop them from living our life.  Betsy Furler  8:01   That's awesome. So what else do you like to do? What do you like to do for fun?  Cassidy Hooper  8:07   Fun, I like listening to music and watching TV and movies and things like that. Yeah. What's your what's?  Betsy Furler  8:17   What's your favorite TV show right now?  Cassidy Hooper  8:20   I love the Big Bang Theory. And I love the good doctor.  Betsy Furler  8:27   I like I really like the big bang theory. I've only seen a couple of episodes of the good doctor, but I really big bang theory.  Cassidy Hooper  8:35   Yeah,  Betsy Furler  8:36   I did a I did a TED talk just the other day on using our strengths and our differences as our superpowers. And I talked about people who were to he are twice exceptional, who have a cognitive difference or disability as well as academic giftedness. And when I was memorizing, memorizing my speech, I had some pictures that I was looking at to try to help me remember, you know, the different areas of the speech. And I used a picture of Sheldon for that too.  Cassidy Hooper  9:04   He Yeah.  Betsy Furler 
 Yeah. And so what, um, you said you want to do advocacy, advocacy for people with autism in the future for your work or continue that because that's what you're what you're working on right now. And what do you think your strengths are in the workforce? Because sounds like he made great grades. And so you know, what, what do you think your strengths are that you can bring? Bring to an organization?  Cassidy Hooper  9:37   I Yes, well, um, you know, I'm really good on and resources. I'm a very big researcher, and paying attention to detail like I'm very detail oriented. Yeah, and so yeah, I think that will be really awesome for workforce?  Betsy Furler  10:01   Absolutely, yeah, those are skills that a lot of people don't have or the or they have no interest in it, you know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think I really believe everybody needs to find what they do well, and then figure out a job that can use those skills because that way you're happier. And the people that you work for happier. Yeah, we're all happier when we're using our strengths.  Cassidy Hooper  10:24   Yes, absolutely.  Betsy Furler  10:26   Not having to do something that's difficult and, you know, not built on what we like to do and what we do well. Yeah, well, Cassidy this has been awesome. I'm I think our my audience is going to really appreciate hearing from you and they might want to connect with you. How could people connect with you if in the future?  Cassidy Hooper  10:47   Yes, so I have a Facebook Cassidy Hooper. See a SS ID blog. h o. p er. So they can connect me on Facebook. And I also have an Instagram, Miss Cassidy Eden. So that's my Instagram handle. And I connect with me there's Wales. So yeah, with the questions you have. And if you want to connect me and follow me and bring me you can, so yeah.  Unknown Speaker  11:26   Awesome. Well, thank  Betsy Furler  11:26   you so much for being on the show.  Cassidy Hooper  11:30   You're welcome. And I enjoyed it. Thank you for having me. And audience. Thank  Betsy Furler  11:34   you so much for tuning in. Again, please rate, review, subscribe, and all those things with this podcast on whatever podcast platform you're listening to. And if you want to know more about the company that I founded, for all abilities, you can go to my website at for all abilities calm, to find out about how we help businesses, support their customers and their employees with disabilities and also help them reach required mandates from the ADA for federal and corporate contracting. And you can also follow me on LinkedIn at Betsy Furler f er le AR. Thanks for tuning in. Thanks so much for listening to the for all abilities podcast. This is Betsy Furler, your host and I really appreciate your time listening to the podcast. And please subscribe on any podcast app that you're listening to us on. If you'd like to know more about what we do in our software that helps employer support their employees with ADHD dyslexia, learning differences in autism, please go to www dot for all You can also follow us on Instagram. And you can follow me on LinkedIn at Betsy Furler. f as in Frank, you are le AR Have a great day and we will see you soon.  Transcribed by