By the time the internet came along I was in my twenties. At first I did find it interesting, finding little games and being able to find answers to questions I may have. I dipped in and out for years, but often put off by negative interactions. The unfortunate consequences of communication differences and not understanding that I was different.
I wasn’t ever really drawn to social media because being drawn to society and people had long left me. I did have accounts but only really to try and win presents for my wife and daughter.
I have been out of paid work due to my back injury since before my wife and I met. Asking her for money to buy a present just didn’t ever feel right. So instead I would enter competitions online and use the prizes as gifts.
Realising I needed to go on social media if the New Life Autistic campaign had any chance of succeeding brought with it a great deal of fear and apprehension, that’s understating it.
However thanks to my friends I was learning how to communicate, how to have conversations. That made a huge difference, but I do still see there is a lot of negativity online. However, to be fair, I have also seen people band together because they have shared values. I’ve seen strangers reach out with words I will always keep with me, a mix of kindness and compassion, love and light from both the autistic community, neurodivergent community and caregivers.
It would be great to one day see more positivity online than negativity. That said, I do actually quite like the internet now.
I have found my community and the beginning of a journey fuelled by hope, getting to turn the life I had into the life I have now. Maybe anything is possible in this world after all. If that’s all you get from this page, the feeling that you can have a voice and a place in this world. That tomorrow can be embraced, be the start of, or next step in your journey
Well, I’ll be honest I love that more that anything...
All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva