I’m studying linguistics, French and creative writing at university. In my spare time, I host community radio shows about disability, Neurodiversity, arts and culture, and movies. I am obsessed with film, language as an abstract concept, and individual languages. I also really enjoy acting and writing. These are my favourite kinds of ways to express myself because I have the time, the space and the structure to show who I am and what I have to say, without fear of losing the floor because I’m not fast enough or loud enough.
When I was 10 years old, I had no interest in getting other people my age to like me. I’d much rather have someone like the real me than to like a more marketable fabrication of myself. If I could say one thing to my 10 year old self, it would be: ‘Don’t ever change that. You deserve to be who you are and follow your passions.’
To me, Autism simply means having a different (and usually more defined) set of strengths and weaknesses. Depending on what setting you see someone in, they can look very adept or very inept at what they are doing. Everyone has things that they’re naturally very good at, and things that they can improve on. Although, sometimes, people who are on the Autism Spectrum struggle with skills that most people take for granted, and excel at things that a lot of people don’t value. It’s a Spectrum, not a scale. It’s also, of course, a very real part of yourself, but not your whole self. It’s important that our society starts to see people on the Autism Spectrum in this way, and celebrate our strengths, abilities and potential.
All over the world, people with all kinds of differences are telling you what they need you to do to include them, and what they can offer the world. If you listen well, open your mind to a different way of experiencing the world, and learn as much as you can, the journey towards becoming an inclusive society will finally be clear and attainable.