Being Autistic is What Makes You, You

Bethan Power had signs of autism when she was in primary school. She is now studying Business Administration with us and tells us how she has been supported.


How old were you when you were diagnosed with autism?

I had an initial assessment when I was in primary school but it was never followed up. Growing up it was always clear to family, friends & teachers that I displayed traits. It wasn’t until 2021 that I was actually diagnosed with autism & ADHD following a prolonged hospital stay.


How does affect you and what does it mean?

Having autism means I function differently. I can’t process things the same way as others. Sometimes, this makes it hard to process things, but also I might notice something others don’t. I’m very high functioning, it’s hard to say specifically the type of autism someone has, as there aren’t any boxes to tick, or ‘one size fits all’


Do you require special support or have any coping mechanisms?

I have to follow routines and changes can cause anxiety. People with autism are more likely to have certain functional issues. I have Functional Neurological Disfunction, which causes seizures & paralysis. My mind can get overwhelmed and cause these physical issues, meaning I need support from my family.


What support does Educ8 offer?

I have had so much support already from Educ8. I have met staff who support with autism and received support with the WEST testing. At my induction, a colleague made sure I was comfortable and happy. She also explained that different mechanisms can be put in place for me. Everyone in Educ8 has worked with me every step of the way.


How important is World Autism Awareness Day?

It’s very important as there are still lots of misunderstanding around people with autism. I feel there is still a stigma attached to the word Autism. Being autistic isn’t a bad thing, no matter where you fall on the spectrum, it’s what makes you, you.


Are there any misconceptions about Autism?

I have been told that because of my autism, I wouldn’t be employed, wouldn’t do well in education. Once people find out I’m autistic, a lot of them change how they talk and act towards me, like I struggle to understand, and my intelligence goes out the window. Some people automatically assume that you are incapable of emotions, holding conversation, and functioning in general.


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March 31, 2022