This weeks guest post comes from Loren from @ Autism Academy in which they explains all about themselves and what they do over at Autism Academy.
Who am I?
Hi I‘m Loren Snow. I’m an Autistic public speaker and trainer: This means I talk a lot about Autism! You can see more of me on my YouTube: Autism Academy.
What do I do?
I’ve always been interested in why we humans think and act the way we do. So I’ve spent most of my life studying our mental health, relationships and sense of identity. Now I teach a lot of courses to parents and classes to Autistic adults. Occasionally I talk at conferences, on radio stations and do filming for bigger organisations.
I like to work on my business, but executive functioning sometimes means progress is slow: This is tough as there’s always something to do, such as making new videos, emails and creating resources.
In the future, I really want to explore more of the world, but for now, I mostly play computer games, spend time with friends, and watch anime. I’m quite social, but I still get burnt out pretty easily and need time alone to recover.
When was I diagnosed?
From a young age, I always felt different. I could tell I wasn’t like other children, and I could tell they did too. Like many Autistic children, I had meltdowns and shutdowns, didn’t like change, had trouble making friends. As I grew up being different allowed me to try things that others wouldn’t and I began to celebrate being a bit weird.
I was diagnosed at 24. I’d received an ADHD diagnosis the year before, but it didn’t quite fit. It took a long time for me to seek a diagnosis as I had lots of doubts. Sadly growing up I’d seen a lot of misinformation in the media about Autism, so I would often bounce between knowing I was and doubting it.
While I waited for my ADHD diagnosis, I kept it a secret from my friends. When I told them I’d been diagnosed they weren’t surprised and when I told them I’d be diagnosed as Autistic they all said “I Know, you told us years ago”. I didn’t, and no one told me! It’s kind of funny now looking back!
After it helped explain why I acted the way I did. It also opened my eyes to something strange: I’d always been surrounded by Neurodiverse people – my close friends, my partners, pretty much everyone I got a long with the best! It also helped me not to blame myself for certain behaviours and helped me to find strategies that worked. Mostly it helped me to be able to recognise, find and celebrate my true self.
What’s my work like?
I teach a lot of different people. Some are Autistic themselves, some parents, and some support staff. Teaching each can be quite different, and they often have children or clients with complex needs. It’s nice to give them information they need but sometimes it doesn’t feel enough.
I wish we had longer together as we could do so much more. There’s a lot to learn about Autism, and there are many misconceptions so this made me decide that decide that I should explain these things so others wouldn’t have to struggle as I did. I thinks that’s why for me, the hardest part about my job is hearing about how others are struggling and the barriers they face to getting the support they need. I know the work I do makes such a huge difference; I just wish I could teach more people.
If you want to find out more about me here’s my website. On it you can find out a little more about me, my services and find links to all my videos and some cool other things! You can also sign up to my newsletter to find out about new content and courses I deliver. So go take a look 🙂
Thank you to Loren for this post, be sure to check out the Autism Academy YouTube and Website for some great resources!