AUTISTIC LINCS - 'It's not a weakness or a liability'
Hello there! Callum Brazzo here, continuing to make Autistic Lincs.
Another guest article this week from the buoyant Bourne resident, David Snape….
"Hello everyone, my name is David Snape. Some people may remember me as being a former student of the Priory School in Spalding many years ago. Some may recognise me for having my own local radio show. Or some may spot me from various Facebook posts.
Throughout my life, one of the things that I try and learn is about myself and how autism has affected me. It’s been a fascinating journey with many ups and downs along the way. Even being diagnosed as autistic from early childhood, I could understand better where I’ve come from and how I am now.
When I didn’t have any control of being violent as a small toddler and crying because of stuff like the sun being too low, it blinded my eyes. Those were some examples of childhood hurdles. Even making friends proved to be an impossible task and a frustrating one too. Walking round the playground, alone, even trying to find fellow students from time to time.
My specialist subject at school was maths. From the time where I did times tables of double figures like 17 x 17 on my own, that took everyone by surprised, including myself. That was the basis of a trend that continued all the way to college and I was delighted to even get a grade in A-level Maths.
One of the best decisions as a family we made was having a place at the Priory School in Spalding. The relaxed environment, the amazing support from teachers and making the subjects more on life skills instead of the more gruelling education you may find in other secondary schools. I can’t thank them enough and it definitely was some of the best experiences in my life.
I also want to thank all my family for having the belief in me. You can always make strides, learn new skills, be independent and go that extra mile. Saving that extra bit of money to buy a house, cooking meals and keeping the house tidy, learning to drive. That has only grown in confidence throughout time and it has made me a better person as a result.
Now, as a 29-year-old, I have been living in my own flat for over two-and-a-half years, been employed as a postman for five years and been doing my own radio show for a year-and-a-half. There are always brand new challenges along the way and one of those is for me to do more stuff for the local community.
I want everyone to know that having autism isn’t a weakness or a liability. We can use our autism to bring positive energy and say to everyone "we can do this", be sociable people, show our talents and, no matter what the challenges are, we can come out of the other side, stronger and celebrating our achievements.
That was one of the reasons why I am co-hosting the Walk for Autism Pride Day event at Sleaford on Tuesday, June 18. To celebrate who we are and to gain more awareness. We will be raising money for Rainbow Stars. It's a group celebrating five years since its foundation. They do events for adults/children/families with autism and disabilities. From first meeting the group, founder Jane Peck and taking part in their events, I can honestly say that they have been a family to me. The dedication, enthusiasm and energy is fantastic to see and definitely unsung heroes in my mind.
If you do want to take part in the even, meet up at Sleaford Leisure Centre car park at around 5.40pm before the events starts at 6pm. The walk will last roughly an hour and the celebrations will continue at The Barge afterwards. Hope to see you guys there and thank you very much for reading this.’
Visit Walk the Autism Pride Day Event for more details.
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