The Autistic Perspective
“My name is Shona Davison and I have been asked to work at Mackworth House School to help ensure that the autistic voice is embedded in their policy and practice. So far, I have been providing training to staff. Future work will involve ensuring the voices of the autistic young people are heard and being available as a resource for them if they want an autistic adults perspective. As a child I would have benefitted from having an autistic adult to relate to, but autism was not as well understood in those days and I did not even know I was autistic. I knew I was different, particularly when I reached my teens, but I never knew why.
I want the young people of Mackworth House School to see that despite the difficulties a lot of us face it is possible to be autistic yet happy and successful. My family and I recently went to a three day autistic led event. I took them there because I wanted them to see that there are communities of autistic people living their lives and supporting each other. It was an environment where my children could feel completely accepted, which is something we also strive for at home. I believe it is important that autistic people find each other so we feel less alone. It is not easy being the odd one out in so many environments.
"I want the young people of Mackworth House School to see that despite the difficulties a lot of us face it is possible to be autistic yet happy and successful."
My interest in autism began when my children were diagnosed. As I started to read about autism I quickly worked out that it was the explanation for many of my difficulties and strengths. Since then I have completed an MA in autism at Sheffield Hallam University where I was awarded a distinction. I have been speaking at conferences and events and writing for newspapers and blogs. I want to teach people about autism from an autistic perspective. Over the last few years our whole family life has changed – we are much more aware of our needs as an autistic family and have adjusted our environment accordingly. I would like others to benefit from all that I have learned.”