This week (29 March – 4 April) is Autism Awareness Week. Here, our client Adam shares his experience of growing up with Autism and talks about how Bridges Project has helped him.
By Adam Rennie
I was formally diagnosed with Autism at the age of 12 after years of investigation.
My first 4 years at primary school I just muddled through. The teachers and pupils were all very helpful and understanding knowing I needed extra support. Even though I had no diagnoses, I did have some communications issues and learning development delay.
Primary 5 was hard for me. We moved to a new house and I moved school and I really struggled. I hated it. Everyone treated me different, making me feel awkward and weird. I struggled to engage and struggled to understand the work. My emotions were all over the place and I would have outbursts as I couldn’t express how I felt.
After I started secondary school I received my diagnosis. I felt very anxious and out of place at school, I struggled with every class, I had poor concentration and just worried all the time about not understanding or being able to fit in. It was decided to remove me from some of my classes to carry out the work in the base unit. Over time I was able to concentrate more and learn.
I met Natasha from the Bridges Project. She was going to help me transition from secondary school to college. Natasha visited me at school a few times, then I went to see her at the Bridges Project. For a good few visits Natasha would come with me on the bus to the Bridges Project. Then after time I went from the school to the Bridges Project by myself on the bus. With Natasha’s help I managed public transport independently. Natasha helped me secure my first college course and helped me with my confidence and anxiety. The Bridges Project and Natasha continue to support me with college and building confidence and independence. They have helped me carve a future for myself and helped me become the young man I am today.
As well as being a Bridges Project client, Adam is also currently developing his creative talents as an arts student at college.