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To Sam

Autism!

Hello Sam,

Autism runs in my family, I have it and my dad and my brother has it, everyone in my class thinks I am daft and they talk to me in the tone you would to a little baby. I also have a realy bad temper and even my best friend has been beaten up by me in my temper, I hate being in crouds as well becoause it is realy hecktic.

My Dad trys to keep me calm in places like tesco becoause I go cross when people push and shove! I usealy sit in the trolly playing my ds or playing cards with my brother, my brother has a big case of austism he looks fine but finds it hard to talk even though he is six years old, I am nine and I can do enything I want but hear fire works, its like I am realy frightened of them and I have no reson to. when it is bomb fire night my dad goes to record them while me and my brother stay home with Nannie, then  dad will come home turn the volume down and we will watch it seeing all the butiful lights and our friends raceing round with flashing sticks. my brother goes to a speshiel school where he can try and learn to speak more, he can say stuff like Hi, bye, love you, bed, food and drink but he just cant say full sentices, what I want to ask you sam is me and my brother are diffrent, but you cant say autism kid dont wind them up, well everyone is diffrent... looks and behavior so everyone could have autism, right?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. It has really helped me understand how you feel at the moment. It seems like having autism makes some things more difficult for you and your brother, but you don’t let it stop you from doing anything. You and your dad have found some great ways to deal with things that you find hard, like fireworks, and crowded places. However, it sounds like sometimes you feel annoyed by the way other people behave towards you and your brother.

You said that everyone is different, and I agree with you. It is important to respect people’s differences. Everyone finds some things difficult and everyone has things that they are good at. That is true for people who don’t have autism, as well as for people who do have it.

It is not OK for the people at school to treat you like a baby because of your autism. You have the right to be treated with respect, just like everyone else. It might help to ask one of the adults who work at your school to help you -  you could explain the others speak to you like you are daft and you don’t like it. It might be that the other people at school don’t understand about autism or it might be that they are choosing to be unkind. But if it is upsetting you then it is not OK and it needs to change.

You also said that you sometimes lose your temper. You talked about hurting your best friend when you were angry and that is sad for you both. Other young people with autism have told me that being angry is one of the things they find particularly difficult to cope with. A lot of children and young people who don’t have autism find being angry difficult too. It is normal and OK to feel angry sometimes, but it is really important to find a way of letting your anger out without hurting yourself or other people. Sometimes it can help to speak to an adult about how control your anger. There are some good ideas on the Young Minds website.

There is a page in Explore all about autism that you may be interested in taking a look at here. Another useful site to visit is the National Autistic Society. They have a page about how to deal with bullying at school here.

There are messageboards about lots of different topics on the ChildLine website, where young people write messages about things they are worried about. Most of the time other young people will write a reply to the messages, with some advice or ideas. Some young people have already written messages about worries to do with autism. You might find it interesting to read their messages or you could write one of your own.

You’re also always welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about what’s going on for you. You can do this by phoning on 0800 1111, by logging on to the 1-2-1 chat or sending an email.

Thanks again for sending me your letter, I hope this has helped.

Take care,

Sam

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