Very interesting topic. I think having NF may have influenced my career in a very subtle way. I am a Speech Language Pathologist. I work with children with speech and language problems. In most cases they are caused by some form of learning disability or neurological problems.
I do not have any type of learning disability personally, and acutally did not know that people with NF have a high rate of learning disabilities until after I had decided on my major. However, it certainly did heighten my interest in the cause of learning disabilites, and the complexity of the lives of children with them.
Actually if having NF really influenced my choice, I would guess it happened long before I hit college. I had always had a sense that I wanted to have a career working with people, and one in which I could really help people in a very meaningful way. I think much of this came out of the sense that people are so often judged by society by what is "on the outside". Even though I was never really teased that much about my CAL's and bumps, I had a deep sense of sympathy for people who did get teased for such reasons. I remember watching the play "The Elephant Man" and being so shocked at the cruelty humans are capable of. At that time they still thought that Joesph Merrick had NF. Even though I knew that his must be an extremely severe case, and I really had no fear that I would ever be in such a situation personally, I think it had a big impact on me, and made me realize I should try very hard to never judge people on things that were out of their control.
So many children and adults with speech and language problems are teased by their peers. Stutterers, children with problems pronouncing words or certain sounds, and even children who simply have a hard time understanding social language skills. These kids are often thought of as being "clueless", or even "careless" when they make socially inapropriate comments. Unfortuantely, they ofen are deeply caring people, and feel horribly that they don't understand why their comments make others feel uncomfortable, and why they can't make friends more easilly.
So, I really love what I do. It is a great career. I am glad I found it.