I finished year 12 last year and I am now doing a Certificate 3 course in Education Support, as well as working part-time as a Teacher’s Aide for a local school and part-time as a mentor at the I CAN Network. I love sport and dancing, and I always try to enjoy life in my own way.
To me, Autism is a space where I can just be myself. I don’t have to worry about being judged when I’m with other people on the Spectrum. Autism is just a way of processing things differently. I’m good at relating to other people, especially children on the Autism Spectrum. I like to encourage their abilities and help them to embrace their differences.
I was five years old when I was told by a paediatrician that I would never be able to drive, finish mainstream school, or get a job. He told my mum to take me home and just love me, as I wouldn’t be able to do or achieve anything. I proved him wrong. I am currently on my L plates and I’m about to go for my P’s. I have finished year 12 and I’m doing tertiary studies. I not only have one job, but two.
I overcome the negative stigma that society places on Autism by trying my best to ignore negative people, and by doing the best that I can do. I have been lucky to have the incredible support of my personal ‘I CAN Network’ in my family. Without my family, I wouldn’t be able to be comfortable with who I am as a person, and as a brother.
The I CAN Network is necessary because it changes society’s views of Autism, and it changes attitudes towards Autism from a negative to a positive. The I CAN Network has helped me be more confident about the way I approach my life whenever I confront something that I think is hard.
If you are reading this, please just try and be there for the people around you. Be there for people with Autism, as well as people without Autism. This is the only way we’ll ever be able to achieve a more inclusive society.