Making the best of it
Media and information junior Elliot Zirulnik could have let his disorders define him. Instead, he has embraced his autism and essential tremor by making the best of it.
He became involved right off the bat in college as a member of BOND, or Building Opportunities for Networking and Discovery program, which is part of the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
Zirulnik said BOND has helped him connect with other MSU students who have similar disabilities.
“BOND started when I was a freshman,” Zirulnik said. “I started as a participant, and when they got more money, they hired me to be a student leader, and now I work with students who have autism on a regular basis.”
Although autism has not limited Zirulnik, he faces challenges with his essential tremor.
This disorder limits the use of his fine motor skills because it causes him to shake. It tends to be more severe when he is feeling anxious, doing heavy lifting or gets excited.
Sometimes, other students joke about his tremor and he has bullied because people don’t understand his disability.
“People say things like ‘Maybe you should lay back on the coffee,’” he said. “I just explain, ‘I have a tremor. I’m different than you are. Get over it.’”
Zirulnik said he makes the best of both disorders by not letting them slow him down, as he takes regular classes and works two jobs.
“This is the best school in the state for students with autism,” Zirulnik said. “This definitely has the best support.”