Introducing Festival of Ideas
Steven is a customer who enjoys attending one of our Office Projects which is a vocational project to enable customers to improve their confidence, gain independence and learn new skills to prepare for the world of work. We wanted to find out a bit more about Steven and and share his story whilst we celebrate World Autism Awareness Week.
How has your Autism helped you achieve your goals?
My Autism has helped me to achieve my goals by enabling me to have a singular focus in regards to what I set out to achieve. I have Aspergers syndrome which can also be written as high functioning Autism. This allows me to interact with the world in the same way as a normal individual. Whilst it can be seen as a limitation, it is also an advantage as given the right amount of time and help, I am capable of achieving whatever goals I set for myself, in this case, entering the world of work which I have now done as I work for a local library.
Have you been able to educate others about Autism?
I was diagnosed from an early age which as a result has enabled me to have an understanding of what it was that was different about me, an understanding that improved as I got older and learnt more about how this condition would affect my life and the people around me. This means that when asked, I can explain with clarity, the condition that I have and help other people to understand more about this particular type of Autism
Do you think the public are more aware of Autism now?
I think the public are more aware of Autism now than at any other point in recent history during the last 50 years. I think this is due to the changing attitude of society’s view of Autism as it is no longer seen as something that should be hidden away, in comparison to the past in which children with Autism were kept away from society and placed into institutions and essentially denied the possibility of leading as ordinary a life as possible with what issues they were born with. People with Autism are now with help, encouraged to access the community and this increases the visibility of people with autism which thus helps the general public to accept these people as part of the world in which they live in
Do you know someone famous that has Autism?
The only famous person I can think of that has Autism is the BBC wildlife presenter Chris Packham who as I understand it, has Asperger’s syndrome which would make his diagnosis similar to mine. Whilst the diagnosis is the same, every autistic person is an individual which means that whilst we share similar traits, we like normal people are all different and you will never meet two people with autism that are exactly the same.