I’m a musician, an actor, an artist. I love anything to do with the arts. I can play drums, keyboard, trumpet and can sing. I am also a massive anime and gaming fan. I am charismatic, and I am a good leader.
To me, Autism is a word used to align multiple people with multiple stories, who are all different, but all struggle with similar things. Autism is a way to improve ourselves by working through similar issues with other people.
I don’t believe our schools or our broader society are inclusive. It is really important that we change this and start talking about Autism in a positive way because there are a lot of negative stereotypes out there. For example: Autism makes you uncoordinated, makes you talk funny, makes you stutter, and so on. We need to talk about it in a positive light so as to eradicate these assumptions as the first thoughts to occur to someone who hasn’t met someone with Autism before. I hope that one day, people with Autism can tell people about it without judgement.
It’s hard to overcome the negative stigma and expectations put on people with Autism. I simply decide to ignore them– people can’t irritate us without us letting them. A few years ago, I was told that I would fail the year because I had difficulty in the normal classroom environment. I passed that year with a 92% average. I’ve been able to do this by having the support of my personal ‘I CAN Network’: myself, my father, my mother, Nathan, my grandparents on both sides, my aunty, my uncle and their 3 kids, my cousins, and others.
The I CAN Network makes it easier for people on the Spectrum to talk about being on it. It changes the understanding of uninformed people. It is crucial to Autistic people being able to feel confident in their own skin. Since joining the I CAN Network, I have met many different people with varied support requirements. This has helped me to understand that I’m not alone in this non-inclusive society, and that I have a lot to offer. The I CAN Network has also helped me prove that I can be independent, and that I can be a leader.
A world that embraces Autism is a world where Autistic kids can open up about being on the Spectrum and not receive negativity from that– rather, excitement and understanding.