Jarod

Jarod, 18.

Jarod

I grew up in a relatively small town with my three brothers, all of whom are also Autistic. My Autism has meant that it was difficult to be social and to find friends at school, as I was too shy to talk to anyone. I am still affected by this, but nowhere near as much. I still find it difficult to talk to people I don’t know, but I force myself to every now and again. I think I can do this now because I have done it before, and I have realised that there is little to fear.

I am a very quick learner, and can generally work out how to do things with little explanation. I like to think that I’m very quick-witted and can often make jokes on the spot. I am also pretty talented in video games and most things anti-social. My biggest strength though, is my ability to anticipate scenarios and outcomes, kind of like predicting the future I guess. I am also quite modest.

Talking about Autism positively also helps people on the Autism Spectrum to be more confident and comfortable with who they are.

University feels more diverse than school did, mainly because there are over 100 other students taking all of my classes, most of which are doing a different degree. School was difficult because I generally struggled with the concepts of the work. More often than not I knew what to do, but I didn’t know what the question was asking me to do. The main support I received was from my mother, who was always supportive of me and was kind enough to let me stay home whenever I pretended to be sick, where really I just couldn’t handle school.

It is important that our society talks about Autism in a positive way because although Autism can be (and often is) seen as an ‘inhibitor’, it also enhances certain things about you. The way I see it is my brain just diverts my brainpower differently, similar to how your senses are heightened when you close your eyes. Talking about Autism positively also helps people on the Autism Spectrum to be more confident and comfortable with who they are.

Jarod

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The I CAN Network is creating the inclusive society that young people like Jarod deserve. They are doing this by celebrating the individual strengths of people on the Autism Spectrum, to ensure that our world benefits from embracing Autism. We need you to help us to create these inclusive societies.

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