I’m originally from Southeast London. I'm a full-time carer to one of my disabled children and I love it. I think most people would be surprised to know that I'm autistic and ADHD. My children are one of my biggest accomplishments, in addition to the fact that I got kicked out at 15, I didn’t end up in prison. I consider that an accomplishment too.
I don't want to change me it's the world who needs to change to be more accepting and less judgmental. I wish that socially typical people understood that autism is most likely genetic. I'm not selfish or weird, and that not everyone has autism a little bit. I want other autistics to know that it doesn't matter what age you are diagnosed. I was 31 so this year. Don't ever think it's too late, it’s not! Just do it, and don’t be afraid!
Funny story about me: When I first started dating my husband at 17 years old I got that drunk the night before and I wet the bed. I flipped the mattress and forgot all about it and invited my now husband over for dinner to my hostel. I told him to sit down he asked, “Ooooh, why is the bed wet?” I quickly said, “Oooh, a cat must have snuck in through my window and wee'd on the bed!” Not sure if he believed me but he said “okay…” I told him what happened a few years later he laughed and said: "I thought that was it but didn't want to say anything to you...”
When I was first diagnosed, I felt relief, joy, and anger all at the same time. I should of been helped by my parents and my school when I was growing up school not chucked out and not just dismissed by others as weird and rude.
I did not get the support I needed in school. I was put in the bottom groups for everything got kicked out at 15-16, due to supposedly “being a naughty awful child who didn't want to listen,” and I got no help from social services. I was placed in a council bed and breakfast, although it is illegal to place anyone under 18 in these. I did not know this at the time, and I couldn't afford rent as I did not have a proper job. I was made homeless again. I ended up in a national offender’s hostel, though I wasn’t an offender and had not been to jail. I was just left to rot, basically. My mental health is a bit more messed up thanks to all that and those horrid places I lived, and the people I met.
I have overcome a lot of battles in my life. I had learned to cook and clean at 15 years old. I managed to feed myself with no money to pay rent or anything! I experienced a lot of horrid things, like being attacked, but I pulled through because I never wanted to be stuck in that life.
I attended Prince's Trust Course and met my now-husband at age 17 (I'm 31). We have five kids, all of whom have special needs, but we all cope somehow. My husband is supportive, and we get by together. I can say that I'm happy although I am mentally a mess most days.