Joe Eakins is much more than the labels that have been assigned to him. His autism brings upon a variety of challenges in life, but it also gives him his personality and showcases his passions.
Throughout his time at LakeView Technology Academy, Eakins has grown to socialize more and more with students and has become more comfortable with physical contact. In the past, he did not socialize and occasionally became sidetracked with wanting to discuss unrelated topics during class.
Since then, Eakins has joined clubs at the school and enjoys participating in extracurricular activities and socializing with its members. He especially found comfort in interactions with his favorite staff members, patting them on the shoulder and talking to them about his day. He found ways to restrain his outbursts in class, too, and has come a long way, inspired and motivated by “those who believe in me” and “encouraging words,” he said.
Eakins aspires to be a game designer someday, something he’s been passionate about since he was young.
“I wouldn’t have any friends if I wasn’t into gaming,” Eakins said. “The real world could learn a lot from games. Games are drastically better than the way things are in the real world.”
And how does he plan to reach his goals, despite any struggles he may experience in life? “Keep trying,” Eakins said.