To mark Autism Awareness Month, we share staff stories of what Autism means to them and the importance of Autism Acceptance
Ross Punton, junior administrator and chair of Autism Staff Network explains:
“Autism is part of who I am. It’s not a separate thing. I think and process differently. Sometimes I have trouble explaining how I feel. At times my emotions get on top of me. Other times I have unique ideas and insights. My autism is my greatest strength. I’m proud to be autistic.”
In my spare time I enjoy running and open mic poetry. Running helps me unwind and connect to the outside world- it feels good and something I can control. Poetry creative writing give me an outlet for my imagination and things I need to get off my chest. I often have a very overactive imagination. I use this to put it to good use.
One of the infuriating things people say is “you don’t look autistic” Autism is a hidden disability. There is no autistic look. People need to understand that.
‘Autism Acceptance’ is important to me because being aware of something is not the same as being accepting.
Many people on the spectrum still mask their autism. This is wrong. Autism is not a weakness. It can provide some wonderful insights and alternative ways of looking at the world. No one should feel they have to not be themselves. That is why ‘Autism Acceptance’ is important.
For more staff stories visit Staff Facebook.