KALAMAZOO, MI — Erin Beal always learned things in a different manner than her peers. It wasn’t until four years ago that she knew the reason why.
Beal, now 34, has autism spectrum disorder.
“Growing up, everyone just kind of pegged me as quiet, shy, smart, sweet little girl,” she said. “And because I didn’t cause any trouble and was intelligent, it was overlooked that I was really struggling with sensory issues and was not on the same path as my peers.
“That just became more and more apparent the older I got, growing into more and more challenging situations socially and professionally. So in my early 20s is when I really started thinking about it, and before I turned 30 I started looking into it and researching it a lot and that eventually led to me being diagnosed.”