Being Autistic means that your brain thinks differently, and that you’re different. Different is a good thing! I love being Autistic because it makes me unique.
My Autistic brain is really good at LEGO. I like to build animals like cats, dogs, birds (especially mallard ducks – I build loads of those – you know, those ducks with the beautiful green heads), frogs, bears and rabbits. Once I’ve built them, I love breaking them apart and building them again and again. This feels good for my brain.
My memory is really good. Sometimes I remember things from a long time ago. My mum doesn’t remember them but I do. I’m awesome at that.
My amazing Autistic brain also has sensory sensitivities. I hate the noise of hand dryers. It is really horrible and feels like an overload on my ears.
I don’t like some smells either. My mum and dad used to buy this cheese that they loved called pecorino, and it’s really stinky. Whenever they opened the fridge the smell would waft everywhere. I didn’t like that! Some smells are good though. I have a sensory mint pot, where you can run your fingers through the mint and get some lovely smells. It’s a nice, happy feeling.
Sometimes my brain goes so fast and has lots of ideas going through it and that can be hard and stressing. I also really worry about people forcing me to make eye contact because it makes it harder for me to listen. I think this is the same for a lot of autistic people. And sometimes I need to fidget when I’m talking. I like to fidget with my hands and with soft toys. I also like moving my body. I like spinning. It makes me feel really good when I spin fast. I listen to my favourite songs when I spin. I don’t get dizzy easily. Spinning gives me lots of energy.
I have lots of special interests that make me happy. I love Apple products, especially the iPhone X because there is this “me emoji” thing where you can create an emoji of yourself and it does your facial expressions! I also love roses and animals, especially cats, dogs, ducks and kiwis! We have a cat called Humphrey and just adopted a new kitten named Claudia. I enjoy building things in Minecraft and watching “Stacey Plays” YouTube videos about Minecraft. I’m going to have a YouTube channel when I’m older. It’s going to be a gaming channel and a vlogging channel. I’m going to vlog about my daily life and Autism.
My Autistic friends also make me really happy. They understand me better. Most of my BFFs (best friends forever) are Autistic. We understand that we sometimes need space from each other, that we are all different and we are all amazing.
One really cool thing I get to do because I am Autistic is go to Yellow Ladybugs. Yellow Ladybugs is about supporting Autistic girls. My favourite thing about Yellow Ladybugs is seeing my friends and being with all the Autistic adults. My two BFFs there are Bella and Arabella. When I was too frightened to jump off the big platform at Bounce, my Yellow Ladybug friends helped me. They told me, “You can do it” – and I did! When I’m older I can’t wait to join the I CAN Network, especially their Harry Potter group. I’m a huge Potterhead!
My most special Autistic friend is Penny. She hates hand dryers just like me! She has them at her office. Her tablet has photos of all the different signs about high decibel hand dryers. Penny is an ambassador for Yellow Ladybugs and also helped create I CAN. Penny always wears her Yellow Ladybugs T-shirt and her I CAN hoodie. I met her at the very first Yellow Ladybugs event and we became friends. I love her because she’s so special. She is really good at talking to me about things. She helps me feel safe. Penny hates LED lights and wears a hoodie and a cap. I sometimes wear a cap because of lights and my “Eemees” (earmuffs) because of noise. Penny is really supportive of me, because she understands what it feels like to be Autistic. Everyone should have a friend like Penny!
(Words from conversations with Lucy, shared with her gracious permission)