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Our mission is to provide autistic individuals with a space to moderate discussions, share, and write about the autistic community.

Voices of the Spectrum: Conversations with TAP's Autistic Adults #2

This is my second interview in a series where I speak with autistic individuals within the TAP Community! This time, to my surprise, Nicole reached out to me sharing interest in the blog after her friend made his debut. My questions will appear in bold, and Nicole’s responses will follow in the regular format.

Can you introduce yourself and share how you and Patrick first met?

Hi! I’m Nicole Caddick. Thank you so much for having me today. I’m 29 years old, and I met my friend Patrick through The Autism Project. Mama Quinn (Patrick’s mom) thought we would make a good team and we have been together since!

Do you remember how old you were when you initially joined The Autism Project?

I started coming to The Autism Project when I was 15, about to turn 16. Ironically, my parents were looking for social groups for me at the time.

I was a bit nervous initially, but once I made friends, I started enjoying it. My advice for anyone joining groups is to be yourself because everyone else is taken.

Can you tell me about the social groups you’re currently involved in?

Certainly, right at this moment I am only a part of Karate. But I have been a part of Girls Night Out, The Club, and Social Thinking Detectives.

Unity Community is my absolute favorite place in the world; big shout-out to Lore Gray and Lisa McKay. All the people there are so friendly, and we always have a great time.

What have you learned from your participation in these groups?

I have learned how to be a good friend.

I learned how to listen more than I talk!

And how to just be an all-around good person.

What event at The Autism Project is your favorite?

I absolutely love the Imagine Walk; it’s one of my favorite events.

Another thing I love is Camp WANNAGOAGAIN! When the first responders brought their therapy dog Leo, a Brennon Doddle, it brought smiles to everyone's faces and brightened the day.

Beyond The Autism Project, what other activities do you participate in?

I am hoping to join The Spectrum of Sound at the Doug Flutie Foundation, like my friend Patrick. They are an acapella band that sings popular music, and I love to sing!

What’s your favorite song to sing?

Anything Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine.

My parents were into them, so I got into their music during my teens.

Can you tell me some personal achievements that you are proud of?

Wow, there are so many!

I worked in North Kingstown as a teacher's aide for almost 4 years. I got to work with children, but I also got to be a puppeteer.

I volunteer at Roger Williams Park Zoo, where I am a Play Partner. The children there are just such a joy. You never know what they are going to say! I love playing music with them, I usually bring out the drums and we just let loose and have fun while having a jam session.

I am also an actress with G.E.A.R. (Give Everyone a Role Production.) I was in a play this past November and I really enjoyed that. It was for a play called, “About Time,” it was wonderful.

I also performed in Las Vegas on the strip with my uncle who is a musical director. Hey, Uncle Pat! He introduced me to several people from American Idol. Like Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias, and Man in the Mirror Mr. Benjamin Stone. I got to work with them all!

In what ways would you say The Autism Project has helped you?

By just being my friends. The Autism Project has shown me that there are good people in this world who are willing to help and lend a hand.

At the end of the day, it's just as important to be a friend as to have a friend.

What is something about autism that you wish people understood?

Autism is on a very wide spectrum, and it looks different for different people.

What strengths about Autism that you love?

I love that everyone has their own kind of beauty, and brilliance.

Any final thoughts or messages for The Autism Project?

To all the workers at The Autism Project, I love you. Thank you so much everything.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to learn about Nicole. I am eager to witness the continued success and positive influence Nicole will undoubtedly bring to The Autism Project.

Gianna Cambria

Marketing & Communication Officer