After seeing this recent news story fabricate itself into becoming a major topic of discussion amongst the autistic community, I feel that it is appropriate as someone who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, to give his thoughts and opinions on a subject that I feel, is a delicate issue, but is one that unquestionably needs addressing.
There are a couple of points that I would to articulate my views on. Firstly, my view on being an ‘Asperger’, which in my belief, is something that should not be uncomfortable to acknowledge and declare. From a personal perspective, I am proud to be able to preannounce myself as a man with this condition. I do not see it as detrimental to my life and future career aspirations, nor do I see it as a hinderance to future career opportunities or maintaining healthy relationships. I see this as a blessing and an opportunity to learn more about myself as a human being every day in my life.
I have been fortunate to receive the loving care and support from both my family and friends, as well as receive accommodating backing from my peers and support workers throughout my time in education. Asperger’s is an invisible disability that we cannot see from the outside, and it is a somewhat indistinguishable impairment that, in my opinion, the vast majority of the general public do not acknowledge and comprehend. Perhaps if more was to be done by the governments and powers that be to recognise this condition and to stop labelling these people negatively, as well as help support the amazing work that autism related charities and websites such as Autism Daily Newscast generate, then more could be achieved in order to help improve the lives of the people who are diagnosed with this disorder.
Secondly, I would like to address the debate on whether people with a form of autism, if provided with the opportunity, would like to be ‘cured’ and ‘free’ from their disability. My answer is simply no. I would undeniably turn the down the opportunity to be rid of the one aspect that makes me me. Why? Because I am proud of whom I am, and I am proud of what makes up both the positive qualities and negative aspects of me as a human being.
As explained earlier, I have accepted the attributes that make me who I am as a person, and I truly believe that this condition has proved to be a blessing in regards towards my own life, and it has helped me to open more doors and paths in my life that I did not know I had originally there. Yes there have been times in my past where I have struggled both emotionally and physically to be the person that I am today. I have grown up, listened to the advice that my peers have given me and tried to live my life up to this point in time the right way. I have been in an unhealthy relationship in the past which left me questioning my own self esteem and inspirations, and I have also been left suffering from depression due to unnecessary and pointless bullying and neglect on numerous occasions, but I have not let this control my life, no.
I believe that people with a form of autism must be able at some point in their life to develop and discover the art of self-motivation. Without this, one will not be able to have the urge and desire to make a go of their life and strive for something worthwhile and achieve a greater level of happiness.
Others can label individuals with a form of autism as ‘careless, lazy and disgruntled’, and can also mark people who use this condition as an ‘excuse’ to act in ways that are inhumane and cruel, but I am strongly against this statement. Autism is not a label, it is who we are as individuals and we should accept the positive and negative sides to this condition and move forward with our lives. Do not let negativity and bad publicity get you down. You are strong minded, gifted and talented people with a lot of love and affection to give to the world and one day, your time will come.
Be patient, stick to your own philosophies and don’t let negativity towards this condition bring you down.
About Thomas Hewitt
Thomas has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and is an an upcoming freelance journalist based in Nottingham, England. He is currently completing a BA (Hons) Degree course in Digital Media Design. Thomas has also studied both a Higher National Diploma and a BTEC National Diploma in Media Production, as well as gaining valuable understanding in Digital Photo Imaging and Digital Video Editing. His experience includes writing for a variety of different media outlets such as websites and locally paper-based editorials. His specific areas of interests within Journalism are sports, gaming, films and current affair related issues.
Opinions expressed by Autism Daily Newscast Contributors are their own. Comments on individual articles in this series are closed but we encourage readers to add their thoughts on the opening article to this series that can be found here.