I’m 20 and from a town called Rugby in the Midlands.
My biggest accomplishment so far has been completing my Art GCSE last year, a exam normally sat at age 16 but I was unable to complete at the time due to hospitalization for mental health problems.
It was at one of the hospitals that I got diagnosed with High-functioning Autism, something I’d never heard of, at age 15 but it was a huge relief because finally everything made sense and it led to a lot more help than I was previously receiving. For example, when I finally left hospital I was introduced to the Pod which has been my school/college for the last 2 1/2 years. They work with people who can’t attend mainstream school (most of us are autistic) to achieve their goals through their own ways. They let me base my entire GCSE on David Bowie who I love.
The one thing I’d wish neurotypicals knew about autism is that they need to take their time. With me, I’m not the best at social situations or trying new things but with encouragement and understanding from people, I can do pretty much anything.
For people who have autism, one thing I would like to say if you need to find your thing. It doesn’t have to be like Rain Man but once I’d found my strengths it made the rest of my life easier like my stubbornness can also be seen as determination and my love for David Bowie has become a love for learning ( I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand). Anything is possible. You just need to do it your way.