1:22 pm, Tuesday, 25th May 2021

“I would see autism like a special gift”

Tomas Lindley, age 16, from North East Lincolnshire is a an aspiring actor, leader, and ambassador for SEND.

See his honest and heartfelt account of living with autism in his Young Reporters article that he wrote when he was 14.

“This is a little story about a boy. A boy who had something kept in him for as long as he could remember, and wonder what he’s going to use it for.  The boys goes by the name Tomos Lindley. That’s right, my name.

“This is the story of my life. A story about me preparing for my future. For the past 14 and a half years, I had something in my head that I guess, that is a huge part of my personality; Autism.

“I was diagnosed with it. Born with it. And I live with it for every single day that I could think of. Some people would rather call autism a disability – I don’t. In my own words, I would rather call autism like a special gift. I would despise anyone who calls it a curse.

“Even though you’re born with it, you still have each and every bone in you that makes you human. And there’s what, like millions perhaps billions that share this symptom. And now you are reading an article from a boy who’s going to express about how my autism made me the young man that I am right now.

“Now what to say first; I am quite shy. I am a bit forgetful on my education but I am gradually getting better. I wouldn’t really consider myself an air head. I am not too much of a socialiser unless necessary. I mean, it makes perfect sense as I am in my teenage years, so one thing I have to do in school is survive.

“I never even held a grudge or lashed out, I am just that calm. No wonder I am setting up to become a prefect and assist kids in drama class; which is quite ironic since doing acting is like my dream job. I used to dream about doing acting and then I started to get different types of dream based on my future, (you may call them visions if I was exaggerating). And in that dream, I saw myself not being an actor or a daily average celeb. I saw that through me in the near future that I would become a hero for millions and billions who share the symptom. And I know I will achieve that goal because I believe that people with the smallest mind can still achieve that one step in life.

“Did I ever tell you why I don’t like the term disabled? When I usually hear that word, it just seems to make me feel like you calling someone broken. Maybe I am not thinking clear, but just calling someone who has a special need broken, feels like a hate crime.

“If somebody calls somebody with a need broken, the main thing it would break is my heart. I don’t want to spread fear into the children with needs, because I don’t want them to be afraid of what they have.

I want to spread hope into their hearts. Hope they will get the help that they need. Hope that they will always be treated like children. Hope they will always be part of humanity.

“You see, I am a believer and what I believe the most is that someone with a need can still succeed in life and get the happily ever after they dreamed of. And all I said right there, can all be said by just saying one defining quote.”

“One small mind, can still make a huge difference in one big world”.

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Read this story and others like it- Celebrating SEND- local stories and promotion.