From the many Autistic members of our team to our younger Autistic peers, here are a few very important reminders for you:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Many people can relate to the things you might be feeling or experiencing. Getting to know other Autistic people – whether it’s through online mentoring or in person or through books, blogs and vlogs – can help create a feeling of understanding and community.
Being part of the Autistic community, and being around other Autistic people, has played a big part in helping me accept myself. It’s the best thing ever.
Seeing others who have been through very similar circumstances and have come out of it a better person is so powerful.
You’re not the only Autistic person out there. There’s a huge community out there who will love and support you.
THE WORLD NEEDS ALL KINDS OF MINDS.
Our world would be very boring and bland if we all looked at things the same way. Being Autistic means that we see and perceive things in ways that many other people might not. We help make the world a more interesting and innovative place.
It’s okay to be different. In fact, it’s more than okay; it’s a positive. How boring would our world be if we were all the same?
Coming at things from a different direction allows Autistic people to find solutions to problems that others might miss. The truth is, there’s a lot that’s great about being Autistic: our focus, our drive, our willingness to walk a different path.
The world would be bland and boring without amazing people like us.
FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS.
We all have things that are challenging for us, but each of us has personal strengths as well. Always remember to focus on your strengths. They will take you where you need to go in life,
Remember to focus on your strengths; they will take where you need to go in life. There will be tough times, but you are stronger than you think you are, and eventually things will get better.
Enjoy and embrace the things you are good at and learn to love just being yourself and you will find that success is not as impossible as it may seem.
EMBRACE YOUR PASSIONS.
Everyone has them and everyone needs them! The things we are deeply interested in can bring a lot of comfort and happiness. Often they can help us connect with other people who share similar interests. Don’t apologise for the things you love – it’s very cool to have deep knowledge and a deep level of interest.
Pursue your interests passionately and eventually you’ll find people willing to share them with you.
Follow your interests. If you really believe you can do something, you can achieve great things.
YOU ARE AWESOME…JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
Especially when you are growing up, there can be a lot of pressure to look and act like other people in order to “fit in”, which can be very draining! You truly are awesome…just the way you are. You deserve to have people in your life who feel the same way about you.
Your community is out there. You might not find them all as a young person, and they might not all be exactly like you, but they are out there and they will like you for who you are. Don’t sell yourself short.”
“You are not difficult, you are unique. You are not a subject of pity, you are a subject of strengths. You have nothing to apologise for, you have so much to contribute.”
“Be yourself. You’re the only one who can do it. You’re awesome just the way you are!”
Download our Tip Sheet – Always Remember.pdf
Watch our I CAN team video here – “You’re Awesome Just The Way You Are: Messages For Our Younger Autistic Peers”
SOME RESOURCES YOU MIGHT LIKE (list not exhaustive):
▪️ From our I CAN Network team, a YouTube video series for Autistic young people created by members of our team who are Autistic young adults. They cover a variety of themes, including Understanding Autism, Knowing Yourself, Autistic & LGBTQIA+ (includes additional resources) and more.
▪️ Also from I CAN, check out our annual Humans on the Autism Spectrum series that profiles voices of Autistics in our I CAN family, with an emphasis on Autistic young people. Our 2020 series featured video profiles of Autistic school leavers and soon-to-be school leavers. You can give feedback on our 2020 series here.
▪️ One of our favourite resources from The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Welcome To The Autistic Community. There is a version specifically for adolescents and a more comprehensive version (all audiences) that was released in April 2020:
▪️ From Autistic authors Yenn Purkis & Tanya Masterman, The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens. Available globally online and in many local bookstores.
▪️ From 17-year-old Autistic student Siena Castellon, The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How To Grow Up Awesome & Autistic. Available globally online.
▪️ There are a lot of Autistics who are very active on social media and we continue to amplify their voices. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of Autistic insights from within and beyond our I CAN family..
Thank you to the Department of Health & Humans Services (DHHS) Victoria for supporting the development of this tip sheet and blog. You can fill out a survey on the effectiveness of these resources CLICK HERE. We appreciate your feedback.
I CAN Team