Autism & Me
By Lily Clark| Published on June 17, 2021 | 6 Minute Read
Hello, my name is Lily and I am a 17 year old autistic teenager from the UK. I am very happy to be sharing my experience!
I was diagnosed with autism in early 2007, so I do not remember too much about it, however me and my mum do have an occasional chat about my diagnosis and what my noticeable traits were. The first time the people at my preschool noticed that I could be autistic was when they saw me playing alone and not socialising with any of the other children at all. I was then referred to a speech and language therapist by the preschool staff, and it was from there that I was diagnosed. It is really abnormal for me to get a diagnosis since females typically get diagnosed later in life, but I didn’t really mask when I was younger so it was spotted early.
Being autistic makes me appreciate my special interests so much. Dancing acts as an escape from the busy world we live in, but also helps me when I am feeling blue. TV shows allow me to grasp some modern language through echolalia (repeating words heard from our surroundings) and music enables me to relax. In terms of autistic traits, some of them include finding change difficult and taking a while to adjust to that change, I have a few subtle stims and eye contact is so tricky to maintain, but I am getting there!
Being autistic makes me appreciate my special interests so much. Dancing acts as an escape from the busy world we live in, but also helps me when I am feeling blue.
The fact that I have autism went down good with some people, but with others it was not received well. I have faced discrimination due to my disability and also have been bullied in the past, including being teased and mocked for my stims. Furthermore, I have been excluded from social events and had numerous friendship issues. I never understood why people ignored me for no reason, because all I try to do is be myself and express myself in a way that’s comfortable. Instead, I used to mask my autistic traits and my personality in order to be accepted. But I have better friends now, who accept me for my autistic self and support me, and I couldn’t be happier. I am more able to be myself.
I have been advocating for autism and other disabilities on my Instagram account since April 2020. I started my account because I want to make more people aware of them, since numerous people are disabled in our society. Whilst in lockdown, I decided to make my account because I had a lot of free time on my hands and I have always wanted to make a difference. I’ve applied to become a prefect for year 13, and I have put on my application about becoming a disability awareness prefect. I want to help my school community by making it more inclusive and promoting hidden disabilities.
About the Author
Hello, my name is Lily! I am a 17 year old autistic teenager who is currently studying Geography, French and Health and Social Care in sixth form. I was diagnosed with Autism in early 2007. I love dancing, giraffes, music and advocating for autism.