Charlotte, 5.


My name is Charlotte and I am five years old and I go to kindergarten. I love to play Minecraft, Pokemon Go and I like to play with my stuffed dogs and pretend they are prisoners escaping from jail and the police chase them. My most favourite thing to do is play Minecraft and build new worlds and escape from the zombies and skeletons. When I grow bigger and can read I want to build my own Minecraft server so people can play in my creation without glitches and bugs because they annoy me sometimes. I also want to make a YouTube tutorial that can show people how to play Minecraft, so they can have fun playing it like me.

When I went back to kindergarten again this year there was lots of new people and I did not want to go back ever again. I did have the same bag spot as last year but lots of things changed and I didn’t like it. I got called stupid and I felt really sad and angry at the same time. I don’t like when people are mean because we are supposed to care about everyone and be nice.

I sometimes like going to kindergarten but not all the time. I know if I get angry, sad, shy or scared that I can ask my teacher for help. I can go to the book corner and relax, I can put my headphones on or my toy lizard can make me calm because she is really heavy. It takes a lot of trying and it’s hard work.

Sometimes I get angry or sad when something is hard like learning how to write. My mum says that we can do 10 breaths to feel better and I don’t like doing that but it does make me feel calm. When I feel calm, I feel happy and I can try again. I like people sitting with me and showing me how I can do something. I like watching YouTube because I can watch a video and know what to do, that’s how I taught myself how to play Minecraft and all of the Pokemon character names.

My mum said that I’m not allowed to use the words “I Can’t”. She said that I can ask for help to learn something and that I have to keep trying which will help me with my lessons. I really don’t like writing my name because it’s hard and it does not look how it is supposed to be. I get angry and sad and don’t want to do it. My mum printed my name out and we did it together, I still cannot write it properly but I am trying again and learning how and I practice at kindergarten as well.

Autism means that you are awesome and I am awesome.

Stacey, Charlotte’s Mum.

The I CAN Network drives the ultimate rethink on Autism. It enables and empowers individuals on the Spectrum by emphasising the strengths and talents an individual has instead of concentrating the perceived deficits that have been in our society for too long. If we focus on the strengths, we will see an increase in an individual’s self esteem and confidence which will create more opportunities and we will be on the way to set an individual up to succeed.

The I CAN Network is like no other organisation out there. They embrace, accept and respect individual difference and celebrate the strengths of Autism. They guide and support individuals on the spectrum to be the best possible version of themselves which in turn allows a whole society to benefit from Autism. I have no fear or concern about my child’s future because I know that organisations like the I CAN Network exist.

The I CAN Network is ensuring that Charlotte grows up in a world that celebrates her individual strengths, and you can help. Join us by donating or giving monthly to create employment opportunities for people on the Autism Spectrum, and to support schools and workplaces to celebrate their individual strengths.

Subscribe to I CAN's mailing list

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.