Ethan’s Story: “I never had someone tell me I am normal, good or clever”

Hi, my name is Ethan and I have Autism and a rare condition called DAMP. DAMP stands for Deficits in Attention, Motor Control and Perception. I was diagnosed in 2008 with DAMP after doctors ran some tests about my hyperactive behaviour.

What is DAMP?

DAMP is a medical condition / disorder that affects my education learning and my brain is wired differently to other people with autism. DAMP can be broken down into other conditions like ADHD, ASD, Asperger’s, ADD, CDD and Autism.

Why is it important to talk about DAMP and Autism?

Well, I think it should be worn as a badge of honour, also it should be taught in every school / college to stop the stigma that people perceive Autism as an illness.

My Experiences

I had my own experience with the stigma of how people perceived me in school by people picking on me, calling me names, treating me like an outcast, losing friends, staff not understanding me. I gained weight from all these bad things. I never really had someone to tell me I am normal, that I am good, I am clever. But now I know that I am normal with my superpowers so are you!

I now feel confident that I understand my full potential. I feel great going through the experiences I’ve been through and coming out the other side more positive. I am more confident in myself, more confident working with others and generally a happier person now.

How the world views us and how we view the world

The world views us as unworthy, naughty, difficult. 1% or 1 in 100 (700,000) people in UK have Autism, most of that 1 percent are unemployed at moment. I would like to see more people with Autism being accepted by employers because it not right and I want to see that change in the next few years.

We view the world as a big dark scary place to live, we feel like people are mean to us because they don’t really understand us and feel that their point of view is greater than ours. We want equal opportunities for employment so we can work with other people to gain new skills, and we need to educate more people in school about the effect of autism and the way we are treated.

Thank you for reading my story – I want to see more and more changes to the world to make it a better place to live and to work with our condition.

Gallery

Working at Breward’s / Meeting Jane Hunt MP / On placement at Barnardo’s

Practising for the Performing Arts showcase

Taking Centre Stage / Recruitment Fairs

Helping peers / Working as a team / Always Having a laugh

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