Hands holding a soft toy heart

Opening up new perspectives of autism with Rebecca

As part of our participation work with children and young people with SEND, we met with Rebecca who wanted to share her experiences of living with autism.

Autism affects everyone differently; no two people are the same. Everyone’s journey is different and that is ok. I wouldn’t change myself because it is a part of me and it makes me who I am and it makes me unique. We are not ‘naughty’, we are highly sensitive individuals and we need people to consider what they say to us because we cannot help it. We don’t ‘misbehave’; purposely – we simply cannot conduct ourselves to communicate our feelings.

We don’t like having meltdowns and we don’t like being judged, just like everyone else and we try our best. We are always listening but sometimes it can take longer for us to compute what you are saying and when we can make an answer it is often hard for us to express that answer. Please don’t ask us lots of questions or pressure us for an answer.

It’s always wise to remember that autism is a spectrum – we all see, hear and feel the world differently to another autistic person. We live in our little world and to leave this world can be extremely petrifying for us. We can experience anxiety or even sensory overload.

It is extremely important that people realise that autism isn’t one set thing – there isn’t just a look for it.

Jokes about or saying you have autism is extremely unhelpful to us and the people we love – autism is not a joke, we are people too. Autism is a hidden, it affects so many people in so many different ways and your words and actions have consequences.

It is so important that we are not judged for being who we are. We struggle and that’s ok.

However please don’t feel sympathy for us. I wouldn’t change who I am because it’s who I am! It’s important for us to go through challenges and our personal hurdles because it makes us strong.