Alex, 14.

My name is Alexandra but everyone calls me Alex. Today is my birthday and I am basically a huge dork. I love drawing, reading, and surfing the internet. I’m into Manga, which is just Japanese comics. I’m learning Japanese at school and one day I hope to visit Japan. I also play the flute in my school band.

I find my most unique quality is that I am not bothered by the negative things people say. I have the ability to ignore people being mean to me because I try to be strong. I never really think about what Autism means to me. I am just me. I also have the idea that anyone can be who they are. You can be an Autistic female, male or a time lord. I just choose to respect everyone.  

It is important to talk about Autism in a positive way.

Though many a person has said that I will end up not making friends because I’m socially awkward, I have always proved them wrong. Nobody can really tell you what you can and can’t do if you try and try again. I overcome the negative stigma in our society by trying. People might say you can’t do things because you are Autistic, but I don’t let that stop me. I just do it anyway.

It is important to talk about Autism in a positive way, because if you talk about it in a negative way, you’re going to make people think it is a negative thing, and people who are Autistic will feel bad about themselves.

I believe that our schools, workplaces and broader society are generally inclusive, but I think we have a lot more to do for people to feel included. I feel very lucky that our school had the I CAN Network, as it gave us all an opportunity to talk to others about having Autism in the hope that we will all see more inclusiveness in the future. The I CAN Network changes society’s perception of Autism from negative to positive, and because it is run by Autistic people, it makes the statement ten times better. Because of the I CAN Network, I’m starting to see Autism as less of a setback, and more of an advantage in many ways.

Whoever reads my story, please understand that being Autistic has made me a unique and really great human being. People should get to know people on the Autism Spectrum more, and make us feel included. Who knows, you might even like me and want to be my friend. A world that embraces Autism is friendly, accepting, innovative, and in short, it’s the coolest world.

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