Jazzy, 17.

Hi, my name is Jasmine Harris, I like to be called Jazzy, I am 17 and will be 18 in May. I was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism when I was 10 years old. I didn’t have a feeling about it, I saw it as a normal check-up. I was not sure why I was being tested though, I thought I was doing well at maths.

Autism is not really a problem for me, I have some issues but can handle them. I like to call myself artistic. My feelings haven’t changed, I’m just living life as it is. I explain Autism as being quirky, fun and say every Autistic person is unique in their own way. I say, “I’m Autistic and I know it!”

Autism to me means something the medical people have labelled different kids. I see Autism as artistic no matter what the world thinks.

The benefits of Autism for me are that it makes me smarter, quirkier, more joyful and outgoing.

My favourite character is Kylo Ren from Star Wars, because he is different from the rest. He has two sides to his character, I like his good side.

In my spare time I write stories, use my iPhone, dance, draw, listen to music, dress up in costumes, play drums and electric piano and spend time with my friends.

My I CAN network, the people who support me, is my mum and dad, friends Tessa, Laura, Greg, Goran and Helen. I am home-schooled, and I go out to lessons also.

I CAN dance, sing, be funny, draw and make friends easily where ever I go.

A perfect world would be to be treated like a princess, lots of bling, music, remedial massages, to live in a mansion, be driven around in a limo and be surrounded by happy people who have similar likes to me.

My special artistic talent is drawing faces, expressions of people and characters from movies. By practising to draw I found I was good at it. I show my work on Facebook sometimes. I have a website, www.artijaz.com that has my heart story that promotes my message, “our world needs more heart”.

When I am creating or making something I feel focused. Autism does help me be creative, but my art is my gift. Autism and art are separate. I get my ideas from movies and I watch a lot of movies.

The I CAN Network creates a world that embraces Jazzy’s strengths. We need your support to continue creating a society that empowers young people on the Autism Spectrum. Join us by donating to our next venture: holding one of our acclaimed camps in Queensland.

Go to //www.gofundme.com/ican-camp-qld to donate – any support is very much appreciated.
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