top of page

Autism Hasn't Stopped Doug From Going After his Dream of Being a Writer

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

As a client with Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a nonprofit serving individuals with intellectual and development disabilities, Doug is receiving the services he needs to attend Cal State San Marcos to fulfill his dream of being a writer. Doug, who has autism, has been with the TMI Supported Employment program for more than three years. He shared with us his challenges and how, with the right support and commitment to your goals, anything is possible.

Q. How has TMI assisted you?

A. Job training and hands-on support.

Q. What life challenges have you faced?

A. Autism, stuttering, anxiety, OCD, and major depression.

Q. How have you faced those challenges?

A. Resiliently and tenaciously with therapy, psychiatry and unconditional love and support from my family. Every step of the way in my life up to now, I have done the very best I can. I choose to believe that, more often than not, it was plenty good enough. My family has never ceased showing me all the love and support that they could. No matter my difficulties with socializing and building relationships, I know full well that my friends like, respect and love me just for me. I have the right and responsibility to be happy. As long as I put my best foot forward and stay true to myself, I believe that, more than likely, things will work out. I have certainly begun to see the value of believing in yourself and giving yourself the credit you deserve.

Q. How does facing your challenges and working through them make you feel?
A. It makes me feel that I am cared for and I am someone who matters. I feel more comfortable with myself and more secure in my capabilities, as well as my future.

Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

A. Watching TV, writing in my journal, learning new things through research, listening to music, surfing YouTube, and watching movies.

Q. What are your hopes for the future?

A. My TMI Job Coach Mary Hanson hopes that I achieve my goal of becoming a writer, because I am a great storyteller. I personally want to believe in myself and see my full potential, not just fully realized, but see it in me all along the way.

Q. Is there anything additional that you would like our readers to know?

A. I am happy, thankful, and proud that I have not only received great assistance from great, caring people, but that I have made them, and my family, proud.

Doug with his Job Coach Mary Hanson
Doug with his Job Coach Mary Hanson

“Doug, you are wise beyond your years. You are smart and witty. Working with you, I have observed your confidence, your leadership abilities, and your perseverance. You never back down from a challenge. If you have a question, you ask until you understand what to do and how to do a specific task. I am very proud of you!” – TMI Job Coach Mary Hanson

Great job, Doug, and thank you for sharing with us! We are confident that you will continue to achieve your hopes and dreams, as you should!

(Thank you to Mary for being a wonderful Job Coach and assisting Doug along his journey.)

It is the mission of the TMI Supported Employment program to support, enhance and educate the general workforce population on the contributing value of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


bottom of page