We have once again opened up our blog to a guest writer, this time an autistic young person we work with. She has requested that she remain anonymous, but really wanted to share her story. So here it is; unedited and unabridged. It’s a fantastic piece of writing, and we feel privileged that she chose us to share it with the world.
School, a large and dull building brightened only by the gleam of morning sunlight and a jagged mosaic showing much happier places. The laughter of other children filled me with dread. They already knew each other, had already made friends. I clung to my mum, silently pleading that she wouldn’t make me enter this dreary place that loomed above my head. Teachers smiled at me when I went passed. As I shuffled into the hall I was gripped with fear. The noise was dizzying, the children were running madly and the glaring lights blurred the room. Suddenly, I felt a hand slip into mine and the world came back into focus. MY first friend.
I always knew I was different. All the make believe games, ‘easy’ books that were far beyond average for my age and toys that seemed strange to others. These things were not normal, they were weird. The worst thing was that I felt like no one understood me.
Then, when I was seven, one of the boys in the class told me that he had Asperger’s Syndrome. He didn’t tell anyone else until we were in year 5 and the funny thing is that he was always a lot like me.
My school didn’t pick up on until I was in year 4. A lot had changed since I first started. New friends, teachers and new problems. By the end of the year it was a lot worse. I felt like I was living on an island on my own. I didn’t like being different. It was almost as if I had been isolated from everyone and everything I knew.
But then everything changed. I was given a book to write all my worries and problems in. Sharing them really helped. It was like they were gone someone else’s problem rather than mine. I got through year 5 all right and at the end I did a test. I scored well too; the average is 100 and I had 133. It felt good to know that not everything was bad. I had hope.
A year, that’s all it took. A year of hospital appointments, speaking with professionals and enduring school. It was all worth it though, because now I know. I am not weird, I am autistic. There are other people all over the world just like me, facing the same challenges, the same problems. And best of all, the future is bright.