When Jordan Edwards found out he had Asperger syndrome as an adult, he began to understand himself a lot better.
He always did well in school, but struggled to make friends. Then when he was 27, shortly after he graduated from Carleton University in 2000, doctors determined he was on the autism spectrum.
"I guess it makes it easier to describe who I am, which is a challenging thing — to be social," Edwards said.
"And it's taken me a long time to get out of myself, and to get over myself, and to accept who I am. But I think labels are just for cans."
He now works full-time as a receptionist at the Y's Owl Maclure Co-operative Centre, and for him, living independently is a proud accomplishment.
'I have learned how to be social'
"There's lots of cool stuff that my Asperger's brain has allowed me to do," he added. "Like, I have a great memory. So that's really positive, and I have learned how to be social. So I have learned that there's a lot of things I could do. And I also learned quite early on that I was good at public speaking."
Edwards will use his public speaking skills to share his story at this year's Human Library, presented by CBC Ottawa and the Ottawa Public Library on Feb. 27.