G’day fellow mammals, and welcome to our recurring feature Grape To Meet You, where we introduce people on the Spectrum and share their insights.
Today’s star is a recent addition to our team, Ellen Cahill, who works in both our online and school mentoring programs. We’re thrilled to have her on board and wanted to give you all a chance to get to know her a little.
Take it away Ellen!
Max Williams, Editor
“I was diagnosed six years ago at the age of twenty, and although it was a shock for me at first, it really made a huge difference to my life. I began to understand what was really going on in my head and be able to understand more about myself than I ever have.
My special Autistic interests are TV shows and makeup. I’m obsessed with MythBusters and Whose Line is it Anyway, and also with makeup and watching YouTube makeup tutorials. I’m also obsessed with animals, dogs in particular. I have a black poodle named Henry who I’m training to be my service dog.
I first got involved in I CAN network after going to a talk by Chris Varney, who I’d met through Asperger’s Vic. He encouraged me to apply which I did and then after about a year a school became available!
What made me want to join was that there was nothing like this when I was at school. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed till I was twenty, something like this would have been invaluable to me at school. I just love that I can make a difference to other kids on the spectrum who may be struggling or going through a tough time.
My experience so far has been amazing. I just love the school programs and getting to have fun yet also teach kids to have a positive attitude towards Autism. I’ve also had a great experience with a kid who is a school refuser. He turned up to the first group in school uniform for the first time ever since moving to the school and despite not going to school, he comes to every I CAN session without fail.
My message for your readers is follow your dreams and passions, you never know where they might take you!”
Ellen Cahill, Autistic Mentor and Advocate