Autism is a condition that is believed to affect approximately 1 in 59 young people in the UK ( Centre for Disease Control). Boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2. Often misunderstood and sometimes hard to detect, it is important that a person is not defined by the condition, but instead they are allowed to use their, often extra-ordinary abilities.
Tomas Lindley, age 14, is a lad from North East Lincolnshire who is using today’s Young Reporter column to give a heartfelt and honest insight into living with autism.
This is a little story about a boy. A boy who had something kept in him for as long as he could remember, and wonders what he’s going to use it for.
The boy goes by the name Tomos Lindley. That’s right, my name.
This is the story of my life. A story about me preparing for my future. For the past 14 and a half years, I had something in my head that I guess, that is a huge part of my personality; Autism.
I was diagnosed with it. Born with it. And I live with it for every single day that I could think of. Some people would rather call autism a disability – I don’t.
In my own words, I would rather call autism like a special gift. I would despise anyone who calls it a curse.
Even though your born with it, you still have each and every bone in you that makes you human. And there’s what, like millions perhaps billions that share this symptom. And now you are reading an article from a boy whose going to express about how my autism made me the young man that I am right now.
Now what to say first; I am quite shy. I am a bit forgetful on my education but I am gradually getting better. I wouldn’t really consider myself an air head. I am not too much of a socialiser unless necessary. I mean, it makes perfect sense as I am in my teenage years, so one thing I have to do in school is survive.
I never even held a grudge or lashed out, I am just that calm. No wonder I am setting up to become a prefect and assist kids in drama class; which is quite ironic since doing acting is like my dream job. I used to dream about doing acting and then I started to get different types of dream based on my future, (you may call them visions if I was exaggerating). And in that dream, I saw myself not being a actor or a daily average celeb. I saw that through me in the near future that I would become a hero for millions and billions who share the symptom. And I know I will achieve that goal because I believe that people with the smallest mind can still achieve that one step in life.
Did I ever tell you why I don’t like the term disabled?
When I usually hear that word, it just seems to make me feel like you calling someone broken. Maybe I am not thinking clear, but just calling someone who has a special need broken, feels like a hate crime.
If somebody calls somebody with a need broken, the main thing it would break is my heart. I don’t want to spread fear into the children with needs, because I don’t want them to be afraid of what they have.
I want to spread hope into their hearts. Hope they will get the help that they need. Hope that they will always be treated like children. Hope they will always be part of humanity.
You see, I am a believer and what I believe the most is that someone with a need can still succeed in life and get the happily ever after they dreamed off.
And all I said right there, can all be said by just saying one defining quote
“One small mind, can still make a huge difference in one big world”.
Article first appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph on 2nd July 2019
Article written by Young Reporter Tomas Lindley