Aiden was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three. She started receiving Medicaid Waiver Services at the age of fifteen, utilizing residential habilitation, occupational therapy, behavior management, and speech therapy services. She graduated from Ben Davis High School and received her high school diploma in 2006, where she took vocational classes in Early Childhood Development.
After high school, Aiden decided to spend a year focusing on volunteering around her community. In 2007, with the support of her mother and her team, Aiden decided to enroll in Ivy Tech Community College. At that time Aiden did not have a career in mind and was working on passing her pre-requisite classes.
In 2008, she and her twin sister (who also receives Medicaid Waiver services) moved into their own home, just down the street from their mother. Aiden reported that her biggest challenges were having to be more independent than she was in her family home, and also not having the money to purchase items to furnish her new home.
After settling into her home, Aiden had difficulties getting to and from college. At that point she decided to study for her driver’s license and passed her test. A year later, Aiden was financially supported by her grandmother and mom to purchase a used car.
After passing her prerequisite classes in 2011, Aiden decided to pursue a Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential. Aiden reported she faced many barriers which included having a hard time meeting others, not understanding the material being presented, and low self-esteem and confidence. Aiden continued to work with her Support Team on strategies that would help her work towards her certificate.
Aiden started working with a job coach in 2012 in order to find placement for a job in childcare. After many months and applications Aiden was hired at a Day Care in Danville, Indiana. The job was 45 minutes away from her home, but she was dedicated to accomplishing her certificate. The Day Care allowed Aiden to work on her Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential. In December 2013, Aiden received a letter informing her that she had passed and had been certified for her Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential.
Aiden continues to attend Ivy Tech and is now focusing on a career in digital media art.