Our youngest member Nicholas finally got the chance to lead a Generate Voices meeting, talking about a topic he chose and is passionate about which was Autism Awareness. Nic is autistic and he works on Generate’s Easy Health Project, he has also been a valued member of Generate Voices and his contributions to our discussions are amazing!
Nic started the meeting by sharing some general facts about Autism and gave figures on those in the UK who are autistic. He mentioned how you can’t grow out of it and it’s not something to be cured!
He then stressed that Autism is different for everyone, and people have different support needs, one size doesn’t fit all! Some Autistic people may talk a lot while others may not speak at all.
Some autistic people are independent while others may need additional support.
Some autistic people have high support needs and need 24-hour care.
Nic then explained how autistic people can be sensitive to different things, these may include sound, touch and lighting. Lights can be brighter and sounds may be louder to Autistic people, every Autistic persons senses are different.
Nic and the members mentioned some Autistic celebrities who have achieved great success in different careers.
Celebrities included Steven Spielberg, Dan Ackroyd, Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick, Anne Haggerty and Sir Isaac Newton.
This shows that anything is possible for everyone!
Then Nic shared his experiences as an Autistic person, he also has a learning disability and ADHD. He is passionate about the NHS and likes to medical reports.
He spoke about the support that has helped him throughout his life including his mum, Generate and CAMHS.
Nic then signposted members to support groups and organizations that support Autistic people including the National Autistic Society and Generate ourselves!
Members then shared their thoughts on important things that people need to know about Autism.
Rio said “It’s important not to talk too fast when engaging with autistic people. Also, be mindful of phases and words when talking to Autistic people”
“I had social anxiety as a child due to negative thoughts that people would sense that something is not right with me because I’m autistic, but now I know that I am just sensitive”
Luis added “It’s important to be nice to autistic people and to help whenever you can”
Lastly, Terry said “The key is kindness and understanding and not judge autistic people and recognize that neurodiversity makes people act in different ways and do things in different ways”
Some of our members are autistic and were asked what being autistic meant to them.
Rio started by saying “Telling an autistic person that they can’t achieve something is wrong!”
“Being autistic means I’ve realized that certain things are a struggle but with age it gets easier, also, parents need to give autistic children more responsibility to enable them to develop life skills so they can cope better in later life”
Nic agreed and added “Children with autism should be treated the same, given responsibilities and allowed to make mistakes!”
Luis said “It makes me nice to other people”
Nic added “Luis is nice as he has greater empathy than others”
Terry said “I have an ability to be intelligent and learn things in more detail than others, I also feel I can do anything! It doesn’t mean I’m stupid! Also, I hate being rushed! Ultimately, I feel special!
Finally, Rio said “Due to my lived experience and lack of support at times, it has made me stronger as I’ve got older”
Most autistic people prefer Autism Acceptance and to be accepted for who they are which Generate Voices agree with! But sometimes, it helps to be aware of Autism and how you can support Autistic people too!
Thank you Nic for leading the meeting talking about something you’re passionate about and for starting a great discussion with the members!
If you’re interested in Generate Voices and the meetings we run, please do contact Generate Voices Coordinators, Chiz and Tony!