Recently, the Adult Autism Service received a message from, Christian, a member of our local community that was supported by our services.
He wants to share his story, in hopes that he can inspire other autistic people to seek the support they may need.
Reflecting on his time supported by the Adult Autism Service, Christian said:
“I recall back when I was originally referred to the Autism Support Service and, at that point, I wasn’t too big on the idea. I assumed I was a lost cause to reality, my autism being something I never truly understood and just kind of accepted it was the root cause for my issues. When, in reality, I was incorrect, I wasn’t a lost cause.
“It was amazing to be under the aid of you and your co-workers. Prior to my visits, I was regularly confused, angry (self-hatred, never took my anger out physically on others besides myself), no confidence/hope and just all round given up. I do remember I would attend almost every session with the same hat, my trademark hat I wore literally everywhere, wasn’t particularly bothered with what I wore too in terms of clothing. It took a few sessions to get me into the swing of things, I really did not expect much to come from my initial visitation.
“However, as time went on, I was proven wrong. I learnt so much about myself and ways to aid my life in its current state. I discovered that I personally coped well with specifically breathing strategies and meditation (I still do these! Meditation plays a big role into my religion!). I would normally hurt myself whenever I was angry over upsetting someone or letting them down, but not the stereotypical forms of self-harm, I would just hit myself and slap myself around thinking I would ‘learn’. It’s safe to say I was wrong and proven so. It was fantastic having a form of support outside of family – a more professional but caring type of support. 2018, I believe, is when I started, and I think it was 2020(?) when my visits ceased.
“And it must have done something. Skip to 2022, I live with my partner of 9 years (In December!) in a really nice apartment, and I have been promoted from a Kickstart Scheme Worker to a (full-time) Trainee Success Coach at Think Employment. I owe a lot of my development to you guys; it’s aided me to find more to my life rather than giving up. It felt really nice to walk in on Friday, without my hat (I ditched it when I started working!), and just sit down and feel so welcome as I updated you on my progress. It was very fitting that when you showed me around, the new worker(s) there were very welcoming and incredibly kind, inquisitive of me too, which is always nice! I believe, to this day, that Autism and similar disabilities are massively misunderstood within society even in 2022, and it is amazing that we have a place such as yours always pushing to aid those who need it and educate those who don’t understand it.
“My current workplace is attempting to make massive steps towards Understanding Autism, so it warms my heart and (personally) insinuates my progress with you and the progress with others will create a ripple effect of education or want of regarding autism.
“If you or the service ever need someone to speak on success, need a case study or even just need an outside opinion/statement – I would be more than happy to help in any way.
(Soon to be!!) Trainee Success Coach”
Christian’s Autism Support Worker, Julie, said:
“Christian is a changed young man from when I first met him, he is now full of confidence, bursting with pride. Doing a job he loves, living his dream!”
If you are an autistic adult looking to improve your health and wellbeing, visit www.careplusgroup.org/services/adult-autism-service and find out how we can best support you.