Charley - 13
To me autism is hard I mean very hard it's like your face blind , people say you are a "naughty child " but it's not your fault or anyone else's also when you try and get the jokes you can't and then when you tell jokes it's not funny to anyone else.
Sometimes I love to scream , bite , hit , swear and spin around in circles and jump until the noises and lights don't hurt my ears and eyes. I love to repeat things because it's satisfying and there's no change because change is so stressful because you don't know what's going to happen.
Teagan - 14
Well being autistic for me is like living in a world of honesty,like for example -people on Facebook when they get a compliment everyone says "wow you are hot"and they reply back with "no you are" but of course I say" i know "when I get a compliment. This also makes are personalities unique because not many people are so honest. For me I don't care if people hang out at the shops with friends. I would rather stay home by myself and if I do want to hang out,it would be at my house in my room. Also being autistic for me means I'm a lot less judgmental and understand people a lot lot more. I don't care if i see younger kids age 6-12 wearing makeup as i know they are just testing. (with makeup ect) Well for me I think on a very high level like when my step dad comes in with me holding noodle flavorings of the same flavor but from different packets, he'll say they're exactly the same but he doesn't think different companies put in different ingredients but I do. I think a lot of autistic people have a unique point of view and mind.
My parents have always believed in my ability to do anything I want, autism has just added a few more challenges and made the journey a little bit more interesting, it's up to me whether I take those challenges and work with them to have a interesting and fun filled life.
Autism isn't who I am, it's just a small part of me.
Ethan - 15
He said it's really hard to talk to people and he never feels like he fits in.
He is very negative and makes negative comments about himself.
He doesn't think there is anything positive about having autism for him.
He doesn't like going out because it's to loud and he thinks people are judging him.
He also said to me that when he talks to people they always say he is being rude and he doesn't understand what they mean. He is just telling the truth, but he thinks maybe they don't want the truth and that confuses him.
He says people are rude to him and call him swear words but he never swears at them. So why is he rude and not them?
To me autism is apart of what makes me well me i can't picture life without it well i can but i don't like to as all i see is me not being me i love how my brain works it's never a dull moment to me autism isn't this horrible thing that needs to be cured to me it's a gift not a illness or a disability to me it helps me to show my abilities and what i am good at.
Stephanie - 22
I am a 22 year old woman with Aspergers.
As a child I was constantly in a world of my own, I had my imaginary friends (as most children did), and would prefer to pretend to be a fictional character rather than be myself. Through school I had help in social abilities and had special tools (a slanted desk, for example, to assist with my fine motor skills. As I got a little older I found I was terrible at mathematics, but, I had skills in art and literature.
As I got older the imaginary world continued and I drew happiness from it! My art continued to improve and I grew distant from mathematics further. I also grew up with heightened senses which lead to minor meltdowns (I had one yesterday, actually) but they were mild for me. The main area which I had help to improve was my social skills, which I still get help for today.
To finish this off, I am proud of my unique wiring and do not consider it an illness! I do admit that I get angry at this stigma of fear of Autism and feel as though it needs to be severely addressed and quelled. We aren't scary, we are simply put together differently.
Jess - 22
Through all of my childhood everyone just thought I was a naughty kid, just didn't listen to them, wasn't able to finish school work because I just couldn't be bothered when really I just didn't understand it at all, I would get caught up in the wrong crowds as I thought they were my friends... I had been diagnosed with ADHD, Depression and I also had epilepsy when I was very young. It was so difficult for me to make and keep friends, and I always wondered why am I so different to people, and what did I ever do wrong to be such an outcast. I always felt like people were always talking about me, I felt like no one really understood me not even my own family.
I got to Year 9 and I hit absolute rock bottom, I was being bullied to the point I didn't want to go to school anymore, I lost my nanna the one person I felt that understood me, and I just tried to kill myself as I felt I shouldn't be here anymore. And I ended up in a mental health unit.
I ended up moving schools and finished my HSC and just passed my subjects with many ups and downs. I had a child care traineeship which I lost when i only had 2 months to go, as they thought I asked too many questions, and a situation came up where I asked for assistance and nobody would help me and I didn't know what to do.
From there I went very down hill again and fell in the wrong crowd again and I ended up falling pregnant at 19, I had my beautiful little girl at 20 and so many people didn't have faith in me and thought she would be taken away from me after I had her.
I then became a little depressed again and it wasn't until my best friend, my rock, my absolutely beautiful mum who is a teacher introduced me into the world of AUTISM at aged 21! Im from NSW and went all the way to QLD with an amazing group of people up there who worked tirelessly and helped me greatly and after many tests and emotional days on March 2nd 2015 I got all the answers I had been waiting for! I was on the AUTISM spectrum. I felt my world had been turned upside down and I didn't know how to take it. I was so happy that I had the answers and now I knew why I felt so different and why I wasn't 'normal' like many other people are, and I was also freaked out because I felt like I was a weirdo and something was wrong with me. That now was just over a year ago and I have been working with a psychologist and psychiatrist to work through my problems and help me understand my AUTISM and how to live day to day with it.
My little girl is turning 3 this year and she is what keeps me going! I have proved to myself and many other people I can do it, I can be a great mummy even though I have AUTISM.
And so now I know what AUTISM to me is something in my DNA that makes me special and different to many other people. Some people call it a disability, but the way I see it is it's an ability you just have to use your strengths and abilities to your advantage! If you put your mind to it you can achieve anything !
Penny - 33
I was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 14, in Year 9. I think the diagnosis helped me work out who I was as a person as a teenager - and get to know my strengths and weaknesses better. I love doing the number crunching of a medical study, and I also like making YouTube videos to explain how to do statistics analysis for the students. One thing I struggle with is writing literature reviews - so at work, my colleagues focus on the literature and I focus on the analysis. Since moving out of home (parent's place) at almost 31 years, I've discovered my need for quiet time.
I like having a day (at least) each weekend where I don't leave the house so I can recharge the batteries. I'm also more sensitive to lights now than before - I think because the LED lights are used more now. At my parent's place in my room there was one light in the ceiling in the middle of the room and I had a lamp at my desk. Whereas in my place, there are 5 LED lights in the kitchen, 6 in the living room and 2 in the bedroom. So everything is lit up a lot.
Sarah - 37
What autism means to me ?
Well to me it's not just neurological. To mean it's also a part of my personality. There are many things I would not change. These things add not only to my life, but others lives also. However, there definitely are challenges and autism dictates a certain lifestyle where I get anxious and melt down should I not be able to live it. Having said that, I believe that it doesn't matter what challenges we all have, challenges are there to teach us and help us grow. Growth promotes happiness which can only come from within. I would much rather love and learn with autism than many other challenges I see others have to face.
Suzanne - 50
My name is Suzanne and at 50 I was diagnosed with Autism. It's funny how my whole life I have felt different, awkward, taken for granted, angry when things aren't done the way I think they should be done, always been the loud one, can't stop talking and repeating things, always been a bit of a loner don't like the light at all, strong sense of smell, have to have things done perfectly but some things I couldn't care less about, I have poor verbal language but very good maths and I am extremely clever at puzzles. I don't know what it would be like not to have autism maybe it would be easier. One thing is for sure I like the way my brain thinks, I think ''the others'' could learn a thing or two from us.