Told By Anonymous Edited By Eugenia Booi
“MY family is an autism family. My brother, Dylan, and I both have autism. I am 21 and I also have Asperger’s Syndrome, while my brother, who is 19, has severe autism. He cannot speak, read or write. Life has not always been easy and there are times when the stress levels in our house are extremely high. Each day comes with new challenges. We do things differently so that Dylan can remain calm and happy. If he gets upset, then he has very bad meltdowns and I get very stressed when this happens in public places. People always stare at us when this happens. My parents have raised me to be the best that I can be. My mother homeschooled me for 10 years so that I could do the work at my own pace, without the other children teasing and bullying me. This behavior caused me to stress and I couldn’t cope.
Today I have a registered vocational certificate for my hard work. My parents are my support system and they always encourage me to achieve my goals. It is due to their constant support and encouragement that I obtained my driver’s license two years ago. They try hard and having given up a lot so that my brother and I can have the stability and support that we need on a daily basis. I pray to the Lord each night to help people in this world to accept and try to understand the hardships that autistic individuals go through every day to fit into society. I know that I struggle in social situations and I am very socially awkward. I have strange behaviors that others find weird, but it helps me cope. I have certain routines that cannot be changed; I have no “grey areas” in my life because I don’t understand them. Things are right or wrong, black or white.
My goal in life is to help people become more aware of what it is like living with autism. I have seen a few live action films featuring characters with autism-like Rain man, but I have yet to see an animated film or television series focusing on autistic people trying to survive everyday life. This has become a dream of mine to fulfill. My brother and I grew up watching animation (Dreamworks, Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Triggerfish etc.) and each movie tells a story that children and adults can relate to. I would really like to be involved in making an animated movie and/or TV series about someone living with autism. Maybe then I will be able to make people in society see what it is like to be judged for being different and help them to understand how to accept us for being different. Autistic individuals have a lot to offer – we just need a chance to do this.”