An Interview with Dominic Sclafani

A glimpse of life as a high schooler with autism.

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Sarah Kincaid

“One day I realized that autism is apart of me forever, sorta like a tattoo, so I got a tattoo to symbolize that it’s apart of who I am, and I’m ok with that.” Dominic Scalfani, 11, on why he decided to get a tattoo of the autism symbol .

Sarah Kincaid, Bear Hub Editor

Sarah Kincaid
Dominic Sclafani,11, offers a friendly smile in East Brunswick High School’s hallway.

A junior of East Brunswick High School, Dominic Sclafani, 11, spreads his welcoming and friendly light throughout the halls on any day of the week. Dominic looks forward to varsity football practices, learning new songs on his guitar and he is the type of person to smile at every person he passes in the hallway. In addition to these aspects of his identity and personality, Dominic also has autism. Dominic refuses to live by labels put on him due to his autism and instead uses it to spread awareness and change people’s views one others with disabilities.

Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF TO SOMEONE?
A: A kind, caring, and thoughtful person who isn’t afraid to speak my mind.

Q: HOW HAS YOUR AUTISM SHAPED YOU AS A PERSON?
A: Autism has made me see that everyone is unique in their own way and we all have our own quirks. One this is for sure though, autism has made me realize that there is no such thing as “normal”.

Q: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE OTHER PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT AUTISM?
A: The one thing I ask people is what they think autism is, it’s a lot of stereotypical or even offensive answers. So the one thing I want people to know about autism is that it’s a spectrum, meaning not every single person with autism will be the same; I believe it was Dr. Stephen Shore who said “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism”.

Q: DO YOU DO ANYTHING IN THE COMMUNITY TO SPREAD AWARENESS?
A: Yes, all the time. I am in constant collaboration with Mrs.Haas, a few other counselors and administrators to spread awareness about autism, as well as other mental disabilities that people might not be aware of, around the school one way or another.

Q: IS THERE ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
A: I am a disabilities rights activist.

Autism is not a label, nor a personality trait, it’s just another aspect of a person. Dominic Sclafani is more than his autism, and he wants others to learn to stop their discrimination and stereotyping of this disability. Dominic is working every day to spread awareness about autism in our East Brunswick community and hopes all people learn that nobody in this world is “normal” and that’s okay.