Autism acceptance week

Autism acceptance week is something that is very close to my heart. There is a huge lack of knowledge 
and understanding around people with autism, which needs to change. March 28th to April 3rd marks the 
60th anniversary of autism acceptance week, helping to spread awareness and knowledge about autism, 
whilst raising money for charity. Over the last 60 years, there has been a lot of progress and growth and 
despite everyone having heard of autism, very few people understand what it's actually like to have it. 
With both strengths and hard times, no one should be judged for being autistic and needing additional 
support. We need society to change.

I got my official autism diagnosis when I was 10, despite my mom battling for a diagnosis since I was 2. 
In fact I was diagnosed with Aspergers, which is a form of autism that they no longer use and have since 
starting used the term ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Aspergers is mainly characterised towards the 
difficulty with social interactions. I got my diagnosis as I was starting high school which made the change 
extremely hard for me. My mom fought for extra support and help for me to adjust, which took a long 
time to get and when I did, it was very little. 

I was very angry upon my diagnosis as not only was so much changing in my life such as high school and 
my parents splitting up, but I felt is also gave people another reason not to like me. In my mind, being 
autistic and hearing that word, just gave people yet another excuse. Unfortunately I am still like this in 
some ways and get anxious about telling people, due to them thinking the worst. What people don't realise 
is that autism is a spectrum. Some people experience autism in smaller forms such as social interactions, 
masking and swimming, where as others are higher on the spectrum which can affect their speech and 
motor abilities such as walking. 

As a child I definitely struggled a lot more, through constant change in my life and hormones, mixed with 
just being a teenager. I'm not going to claim that now I'm older, I don't struggle and I've learned how to 
deal with things, because that couldn't be further from the truth. I am constantly learning new things about 
myself and autism. I am constantly having hard days where I'm over stimulated and my having a sensory 
overload. I am constantly blown away by how supportive people are and how little they care about a 
diagnosis because they care more about you.

Check out my post on what Im still learning about being autistic, here.

When Lea was around 18 months old I started to become aware that she wasn't reaching certain milestones, like other children her age. I know you shouldn't compare, but when it's your only children it's hard not to. Lea would not smile, she had no facial expressions, strange rituals, I could write a list, she was happy in her world. When she was around 2 1/2, she was given a place at a special needs nursery so she could be assessed. At around 4 we started assessment at CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service). The whole process was very long and tiring, with very little emotional support for me. 

Girls present very differently to boys, so getting a diagnosis can take longer. Lea was diagnosed with Asperger's at around 10/11. These days the diagnosis would just be ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Unfortunately for us this diagnosis meant that the support with transitioning to high school was not there. Main stream schools need to do more to allow children with ASD, to feel more comfortable in school. Lea had 2 amazing teachers at the school, who went above and beyond to help her. GCSE results day was one of my proudest moments. Lea makes me very proud every day, she has over come such a lot and continues to push herself daily. Love her to the moon and back.

I could talk forever about the importance of autism acceptance week and gaining knowledge surrounding 
the subject. However there will always be a stigma surrounding the topic. Since my diagnosis, 13 years 
ago I have learned so much, but also struggled so much. I am learning that the majority of people care
 more about you that the diagnosis, however there are some judgmental people who will laugh at you 
when you're struggling. There are times that I've wanted to scream because people don't understand, which 
is why weeks such as autism acceptance week is so important. Spread knowledge and love, not hate. 

Autism can't define me, I can only define autism. 



  1. I loved reading this post Lea, I loved reading your Mum's perspective of it, what a lovely Mum you have! x

    Lucy Mary

  2. I loved reading your mums perspective of this. It sounds like she's a lovely mother!

    Corinne x

    1. She did a great job! Can't thank her enough x

  3. Loved reading your mums perspective on this! I hope schools / children are much more acceptive these days - As a parent my only goal is. to bring my kids up to be accepting of others. Loved reading this.

  4. Love that you've included both your and your mum's perspective! Such an interesting post and I'm sorry you didn't get the support you needed - hopefully people like you speaking out will bring about some much needed change in that respect!
    Amy x

    1. Thank you! I've found that sharing different perspectives helps people to understand more x

  5. Another great blog. Love reading them. I could of wrote alot more on what it was like going through the process, but didn't want to bore everyone. Love mom

    1. Thank you! Everyone loved reading your insight x