It’s not often in my capacity as a reporter I come across a story that makes me smile. There have been two stories recently that have made me do just that, about people who are triumphing on the face of adversity.
The first was the story of Carly Fleischmann, who has overcome the odds to become a social networking phenomenon despite being a non-verbal autistic.
The second, was a story I stumbled across late on a mediocre Sunday evening, the story of Colby Brown, a young man from West Monroe in the USA. Colby is making a bid to be the first contestant ever to be accepted on to the hit US reality show Survivor by CBS.
Colby met Survivor fifth season runner up Clay Jordan, last February, and was inspired by Clay’s story – of turning his own diagnosis of dyslexia into a strength on the show.
Autism Daily Newscast wrote a brief story about Colby which can be found here.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with this remarkable young man, and ask him a few questions about what he hopes to achieve with a newly opened Facebook page, in his bid to become a real contender for the show.
What is it about Survivor that got you hooked? How long have you been watching it?
I just love the adventure aspect, the social game, the drama, and the voting offs. And I sort of started watching around 2010, but the first full season was Survivor: South Pacific.
How was meeting Clay Jordan? What was it about his story that inspired you to open the Facebook page?
It was a very exciting, scary, and fun feeling meeting Clay. He’s a sweetheart of a guy. And when I realized that even though he had dyslexia, he made it, and that is what inspired me to make the page.
What are the specific difficulties you face every day with Asperger’s? What was it about the meeting that made you want to overcome this?
I feel nervous to say anything, because I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid, and I am afraid people will find me weird. But nowadays, I only feel more needs to stay quiet at times. And the meeting made me realize that all people are the same, and we can do anything as long as we put our thought and effort into it.
If you could give any advice to other kids with Asperger’s about achieving goals, what would it be and why?
Don’t worry about what other people say about it, never let anyone bring you down or dictate your destiny, because if people say something mean about you or your dreams, then they are only insecure and jerks. So step up, and do what YOU YOURSELF wants to do in life.
What is your plan for the Facebook page? How many likes would you like to get? What are you hoping to achieve with it?
I want the producers of Survivor, and others with Aspergers to show how dedicated I am to being on Survivor and how confident I am about achieving this goal of mine. There is no specific amount of likes, just enough that I hope will capture the producers’ attention. I am hoping to inspire other Aspies to overcome shyness, fear, and do anything they set their hearts and minds to.
Talking to Colby, who exudes positivity and enthusiasm, we hope that our readers can get behind him and follow his journey to being the first contestant on Survivor to represent our community.