H is 8 now and has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition.
He wanted to do a Q&A session to explain to people what he actually thinks about living with autism.
Q: ARE YOU GLAD THAT YOU HAVE AN OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS?
A: Yes. I feel like it makes me a bit special and different – not that I need to be much more different! Haha. It kind of made me feel like I’m a bit more of a rare person so I think that don’t be sad that you have a diagnosis, it makes you just more special.
Q: HAS THE DIAGNOSIS HELPED YOU TO UNDERSTAND YOURSELF BETTER?
A: I guess. I can’t really answer this one very well because it’s hard to imagine life without and that answer is more centred around people without diagnosis.
Q: DO YOU MIND HAVING AUTISM?
A: No, actually, I don’t really care whether I have it or not. I’m happy either way. I think it’s nice, as I said earlier, I felt a bit more special.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER KIDS WHO MIGHT HAVE AUTISM?
A: Yes. Don’t think your difference is bad, because everyone is special in their own way and you’re a bit more special because you’re a bit rarer. So have fun in your life and be happy that you are a bit more rare, because as a lot of wildlife experts say, “the rarer the thing, probably the better it’s going to be”.
Q: WHICH ASPECTS OF AUTISM DO YOU FIND HARDEST?
A: It makes your fears a bit more extreme, but then that makes you more happy when you get over them. Like me, I don’t like a lot of noise going on at the same time but when you manage to cope you feel happier.
Q: WHAT MAKES EACH PERSON WHO HAS AUTISM SPECIAL?
A: Nobody is going to have every symptom, so if you have particular symptoms then you have a high chance of having your own combination which nobody else has had. No person is the exact same, no person with a disorder is the exact same.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP WHEN YOU FEEL STRESSED OR SCARED?
A: Usually sensory stuff quite helps. Like with me, sometimes I go into my room and put on all my lights and lie down and chill out. I also like to run around a lot, that usually helps.
Q: WHAT CAN OTHER PEOPLE DO TO MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM?
A: Always be nice. There are mean people in this world, don’t be one of them! You’ll get a lot more happiness in the world if you are good.
H sums it up like this –
“I don’t mind living with autism. It’s nice that I know I’m special. Don’t feel sad if you have something like what I have, just remember – you’re rarer, and rarer is better, so have fun with the time in life which you have. And, I’m going to make my disorder catchphrase thingy – rarer is better, don’t feel sad if you have some disorder, just make sure you’re happy. The end.”