Autism Awareness Week - a Student's Perspective
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the United Kingdom.
So far, we've examined a European research project that aims to improve the job prospects of graduates with autism, found out more about autism and eating disorders, and heard a first-hand experience of living with autism from Dr James McGrath.
Today we hear from student Aimee Shepherd who is designing a comic for autistic people:
"I got my autism diagnosis in 2019 when I was 28 years old. I think if I had an earlier diagnosis I wouldn’t have struggled as much as I did in work, school and life in general. I had a follow up meeting with the diagnosis team and then I was left to my own devices. I did expect some kind of counselling, but no. So, I learned everything I could about myself, but I found that people like myself and neurotypicals in my family couldn’t bear to read through the clinical information.
"I completed my undergraduate degree in 2019 at Leeds Beckett (Digital Journalism), then moved on to MSc Psychology at Leeds Beckett and jumped straight into my PhD in November 2020. I really love to use my brain and being creative, so it seemed the best route for me.
"I decided for my PhD I would create a comic that would help to educate people about autism in women, so others could identify traits in themselves and maybe go for a diagnosis themselves, or just to create awareness to neurotypical people of the challenges, but also the positives!
"The comic book will be about the autistic traits in women and the good and the bad experiences of it."