Not Having A Good Memory Like Dory

Some people with autism can have a really good memory but others do not, in this blog I will be discussing to you what having a good memory is really all about. I have been lucky enough to have a good memory and from my past experience I can still remember things up until now, it’s like a special gift that I have. People can be really surprised with how much information I can absorb and how my mind really works.

Learning Lines And Remembering Dance Routines 

When I was in education I was really passionate about musical theatre, dance, making short films, writing scripts and other productive things and still am. With having a good memory it allowed me to remember my lines for when I was playing a character, by doing so I would read my lines repeatively at least ten times until it got into my head. The next, step I would try and read it without the script and before I knew it I could remember my lines. It’s the same for learning a dance routine by going over the same steps until I could remember it. Also, copying and watching anything visual can help with remembering things. It was great for me to help other people when they couldn’t remember their dance routine or other things.

It is great to also, remember quotes from your favourite films and lyrics from your favourite songs.

Writing A Shopping List

When going food or casual shopping, I sometimes like to write down a list of things that I need to buy which, then can help me to remember it but, in other situations if I am shopping with my mum and she asks me to remember some products I would try and remember it. Some words such as: Milk, water and other things are easier to remember but, I do struggle to remember long words. Once something is on my mind I will remember it forever.

Memory Card Games

Anyone with a good memory should be good at playing card games, it’s easier when they are pictures because, you can visualise and remember where it was.

Being Organised And Keeping Your Room Tidy

Everyone is different when it comes to keeping their bedrooms how it should be, for me I like to make sure that, I know where everything is, if something get’s moved I would remember it straight away. I do not like having things being lost because, it makes me get very stressed and upset. I like to keep myself organised so if I am going out the next day I would pack my bag the day before and double check it to make sure, that I have everything that I need.

Remembering Day Trips Out, Faces, Holidays 

One of my favourite things that I love to remember are going out on outings with your friends and family as well as going away on holiday. When I have had an amazing day out, I can remember what we got up to, sometimes what we wore but, not all the time. I can also, remember sometimes people faces, if i have seen them a lot or from my past. Not all the time I can remember names though unless I see them all the time.

Putting Objects In Order 

Another thing is that I love to make sure that, I put my DVDS or certain objects in order sometimes if it’s in a sequel like the Harry Potter films for example. That way if I am looking for something with that particular title I know where to look for. Sometimes I like to go by the actors name for example Zac Efron I would put all of his films together. This may sound weird to people but, it’s a good format to have if you like to be organised or it is the way that you are.

There are so many things that I could discuss to you about why I love my memory so much but, everyone has their own different opinion and it is something that I would like to discuss if anyone has anything else to say.

One of my favourite quotes from Disney’s Aladdin that the Genie says is that: “You look like a prince on the outside. But I didn’t change anything on the inside.” We are different but it doesn’t change the way that we are.

Written by Kathleen McDermott

 

 

Top tips you do and don’t do with people who have autism

In this blog I thought that I would discuss my top ten tips that you do and don’t do with people who have autism. These top tips would be really helpful for people who want to understand what autism is and how to deal with it.

Dos

  1. Are great at being organised.
  2. Have a really good memory.
  3. Good at being creative whether it is filming or cooking.
  4. We like to complete tasks one at a time and having things broking down to make sure that they understand what they need to do.
  5. We like to be honest to our friends and family.
  6. We like to see things that are visual such as: watching a film, seeing pictures etc.
  7. We sometimes like to do things on our own e.g. traveling to London.
  8. We have to keep our belongings in the same place and like to keep our room clean and tidy.
  9. We always try our best no matter what the situation we are in whether it is finding a work job or taking our driving test.
  10. We like doing activities to keep us entertained when we are out with friends or a course group.
  11. We like eating the same food and going to the same restaurants, we do like a bit of a change if we fancy it.
  12. We can pick up and get tasks done quickly once they know what they are doing.
  13. We like to be focus on one thing before moving on to the next one.
  14. We can be obsessed with things such as: Disney or Harry Potter.
  15. We like to know what the plans are when going out on a day trip with knowing the time, how long it will take etc.
  16. Always make sure that you do your double checks when leaving to go out to places, otherwise you will start panicking.

Don’ts

  1. We do not like people touching their food (unless they are sharing snacks at the cinema).
  2. We can get really sensitive when other people want to touch e.g. hugs (unless you know the person and allow them to touch you).
  3. We can hate loud noises including: fire alarms, discos, bands (depending on the instrument).
  4. We may not like standing in more than an hour queue at theme parks (have to get a disabled pass).
  5. We may struggle with being around big crowds,
  6. We can get stressed and worried with being in a situation that we don’t understand.
  7. We may not like changes including: being in a new environment that we do not recognise.
  8. We may struggle to understand time (quarter two and quarter past).
  9. We may not like being left out especially in day trip out with friends, birthday parties etc.
  10. We can be pushed away, treated horribly and not respectful in a work place situation.
  11. We can muddle up their words and tenses.
  12. We do not understand jokes (sometimes can be understood by visual).
  13. We can sometimes hurt someone else feelings even if they don’t mean to be.
  14. We can sometimes say something horrible to the person without even realising that we are doing it.
  15. We can repeat a lot of questions until we get the answer that we are looking for.
  16. We can sometimes interrupt when someone is speaking to us.
  17. We can sometimes struggle with listening to instructions.
  18. We can struggle to read and understand a long paragraph especially in books.
  19. We can struggle with understanding comprehension when reading a book.
  20. We can struggle with typing up sentences on a computer especially with our grammar and punctuation. We can also, struggle with spelling out words.
  21. We can get very anxious in being in a new situation and can lose our temper badly too.
  22. We can also, be very clumsy.
  23. We don’t like to be shouted at as it can sometimes set off our emotions.

What will this blog be about?

In this blog, I will be discussing topics about how to deal at University or a daily life with autism. As a video content creator I will be posting videos onto my YouTube channel about these topics that I will be discussing to you.

YouTube Channel – Click on the link to check out my YouTube channel.

Ever since I was about twelve years old and I was at secondary school, I found out that I had a learning disability which is autism, at first I didn’t understand what it was. I remembered at primary school being taken out of classes, I had people with me, helping me with things but, at that time I didn’t understood why? When I got into secondary school a learning support teacher told me what I had and from then, on I got better at understanding what it was.

Being autistic doesn’t mean that I can’t do things, it just means that I understand things in a different way. There is an advantage of having autism such as: being organised, having an extremely good memory and other things however, there is also, a down fall of having it such as: getting cross or frustrated with things, chucking and breaking things as well as not understanding jokes and other things. Now that I am getting older and being more independent I don’t rely on myself with having autism even though I will always have it but, I don’t rely on it as much as I use to when I was younger. They will be days when I have to use it and say to people what I have but, other days I don’t need too.

So let’s start with the first topic….

Life at University:

Back in 2014, I went to the University of Brighton and studied a course called Broadcast Media. Back in 2017 in June/July, I graduated with a second class honours in my topic up degree course of Broadcast Media. For someone who has autism that is pretty good.

For my first year at University, I had a learning supporter with me in some of my courses this was because, at the start of the year I was nervous about learning new courses that I hadn’t learnt before. During my second and third year, I didn’t rely on my learning supporter as much but, I did have a one to one learning support session as well as having a mentor lesson too. Having these sessions have really helped me to gain more confidence in myself as well as having the support there to help me with my coursework, they were able to break down things and making sure that, I understood what I needed to do.

As part of my University degree for my dissertation, I decided to make a film about how to cope at University with having autism. If you are struggling to cope at University with having autism then take some of my advices and, this film should take a look at:

Being at University gave me the confidence in becoming an independent person, I have met some wonderful friends at University and I am grateful for all the help that they gave me.

During my time at University, I also, got to interview one of the learning support staff members Daniel Wasp and with that interview it managed to go around the University so other people can hear it which they were very thankful for.

Taking on the course of Broadcast Media, I was able to create some projects a long the way. During making our projects we got to take on some roles such as: A runner, director, sound operator, camera operator, radio presenter and many other roles. My favourite role that I took on was being a PA which is a production assistant, the reason for this was, I enjoyed showing of my organisation skills and making sure that, the cast and crew were on time for the filming as well as making sure that everything was in it’s right place.

Here are some of my projects that I helped made during the time at my University:

 

 

As part of my dissertation, I was very lucky at getting the chance to interview two of The Wall Of Comedy co-founders Percelle Ascott and Dee Kartier.

I am very thankful for these two people who come down to my University and helped with my dissertation despite actually knowing them in person since back in October in 2014. With a success like this I always learnt that it is not what you know, it’s who you know.

In 2018, I organised a project where I would interview a couple of students Mark Blake, Natalie O’Connor and Rachel Cullen who are at the University of Brighton and discuss to them about how they are coping with a disability and what they are hoping to achieve after that I have finished at University.

Here is my interview that I did with Mark Blake, Natalie O’Connor and Rachel Cullen from the University of Brighton:

Life With Autism: Going To University With A Disability

Topic Two: Traveling To London By Yourself.

Confidence I found is the key in this topic, back in 2014, I took the courage to travel to London by myself to a TV convention, at first I was nervous but, now I don’t see it anymore. I have found that if I hadn’t taken that opportunity to go to the TV convention I don’t think my confidence wouldn’t of been good as much as it is now.

I am grateful to had gone to that TV convention because, I got to meet some amazing and talented people who I have still kept in touch with and who have now become friends with me.

When traveling up to London by myself I really good at knowing which tube-line I need to get on the underground, a tip that I can give to anyone who is reading this is don’t be afraid to ask people for directions, I have to do this all the time when I don’t understand where I need to go. I am not afraid to talk to people and I think having that confidence made me realise that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.

Here is one of my favourite solo vlogs that I did when I went up to London by myself:

If you are feeling nervous about traveling on the train by yourself, the best tip that I can give to you is find a seat, put your headphones in and just listen to some music or sometimes I like to talk to people on the train as it takes my mind of things. Another tip that I can give to you is when you are going to an event that you haven’t been before, make sure that you plan in advanced such as: Writing down directions or tube-line directions to where you need to go, look onto google map to memories the direction that you need to go to get to the event as well as writing down the transport times that you need to get, for me that is usually a bus and a train. I like to make sure that, I am organised before, I go up to London by myself.

Topic Three: Film Convention Life.

One of my favourite events that I like to go to one my own is going to the London Film Conic Con convention, I really enjoy going to these events because, it is a chance for me to meet new people as well as getting a chance to meet some celebrities. In the past, I have been lucky enough to meet some celebrities despite paying for autographs and photo opportunities. Last year, I did managed to go into stress mode when I was late to have my photo opportunity with John Barrowman at the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest Convention this was because, I was getting an autograph from another actor and I had realised what time it was that I was late for meeting John Barrowman. Luckily, I did the right thing and went to the disabled area and spoke to one of the staff members who was there told them what had happened, I explained to them that I have a disability and then, they helped me to get meet John Barrowman. I really enjoyed meeting him and I felt a bit better after I had met him.

Here is the vlog if you are interesting in seeing it:

A tip that I can give to you when you are going to conventions and you can’t stand in queues with waiting to meet an celebrity, speak to an member of staff and see if they can move you forward in the queue, luckily I had a friend who was with me at another convention and we were able for me to do this so I am thankful to her for helping me. Also, I haven’t done this yet but, if you are going to an convention with your friend see if you can get her in as a career because, it may help with payment wise as well as not standing in queues for long. The staff at the conventions are amazing and I am glad that they are there to help people when they need it.

One of my favourite conventions that I have been to so far has got to be last year in the summer when I went to the London Film Comic Con because, I got to meet James and Oliver Phelps from the Harry Potter franchise as well as the actor who plays Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter Franchise too, it was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed meeting them all.

Here is a vlog that I made of when I went to the London Film Comic Con last year in the summer:

For me it’s so nice coming home from conventions with a smile on my face as well as making my family jealous of the celebrities that I have met.

Topic Four: Going on Holiday or doing activities with a disability

Now I am at the age of 23, the one thing that I enjoy doing are activities, a tip that I have learnt in the past is making sure that when go on a day trip or if you are going to the cinema is, make sure that you take with you a carera card or a some kind of disability document. The advantages that I have with that and my friends and family is really good, the amount of money that we save with that is amazing. The great thing about it is that not only is your friend or one of your family members get to go in for an attraction for free but, they also, help split the money with you so then, the person with the disability doesn’t have to pay on her own.

With having a disability document with you it also, means that you are able to skip the long queues when you go to theme parks as well as conventions. Sometimes you do have to queue for like ten minutes or so but, it’s better then standing in a forty-five minute queue. One of my favourite holidays that I enjoy going to is Disneyland Paris, I have only been to Walt Disney World in Florida once back in 2008 but, with Disneyland Paris this year in October it will be my forth time going.

The great thing about going to Disneyland Paris with a disability which until last year I didn’t realise that this could happen, with having you disability pass you are able to get a good spot for the fireworks and the parades which for me is pretty good. I have also, learnt that you can book a time slot with the disney characters which then, gives you more time for photos and getting your autograph with the disney characters as well as having about five or ten minutes interacting with them. On my last trip to Disneyland Paris I met so many disney characters that I am very thankful to my friend for doing it with me and helping to sort it out too. I am so excited to be going back to Disneyland Paris, not only will it be in October but, even better for Halloween which, I have never done.

So my tip that I give to you is just go for it with using your disability pass and getting as much experience as you can whether it is your first time going or if you have been loads of time before.

Disneyland Paris June Vlog – 2017 – Click on the link to see the vlog of when I went to Disneyland Paris in June last year.

Topic Five: Siblings With A Disability

Back in 2002 my younger brother was born, I think it was at the age of four my brother was diagnosed with autism and out of the two of us he was diagnosed first and I was tested afterwards. Living with two autistic people is hard, one of the differences between my brother and I is that we both eat differently such as: I like to eat things hot like meat, vegetables and other things but, my brother on the other hand, does not. He is extremely sensitive around that area.

We both have similarities in being sensitive around things such as: touch, taste, hear and other things but, when it comes to activities we both like the different things, my brother for example loves football and other sports, me I like making YouTube videos, going to London and other things. Being siblings we do tend to argue a lot but, that is who we are. The one thing that I have learnt is if either my brother or I get angry with each other, we have to try and walk away from one another, sometimes it doesn’t work but, sometimes it does but, that is the way things are.

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Topic Six: How I Met The Wall Of Comedy Co-Founders 

This topic that I am about to discuss is something that is very close to me, I won’t make a YouTube video out of this but, I thought that I would discuss to you about it. People have asked me this question so many times and I really enjoy talking about it. So let’s re-wind back to 2012 when the Mandem On The Wall came about, during this year I was watching a TV programme called Wizards VS Aliens and then, I came across a YouTube web series that the Mandem On The Wall team had created, at the time I had recognised one of the co-founders on that TV show. From then, on I was tweeting and posting things on social media and supporting both the Wizards VS Aliens cast as well as the Mandem On The Wall co-founders.

I think this might of been in 2013/ 2014 when the Mandem On The Wall co-founders did represent radio at the time, I was listening to their radio show and the co-founders were giving me some shout-outs and getting use to my name. Also, by that time Joivan Wade had appeared in Doctor Who which, is a show that I enjoy watching. By the time it got to October in 2014 I went along on my own to the Wizards VS Aliens convention where I got to meet the cast as well as the Mandem On The Wall co-founders. I had an amazing time and a great experience.

 

Between 2014 – 2016 I kept in touch with the Mandem On The Wall co-founders/ The Wall of Comedy and late November in 2016 when Percelle, Joivan and Dee appeared in their first feature film The Weekend Movie I managed to go up to London and saw them at their premiere. Not only did I have a lovely reunion to see Percelle, Joivan and Dee but, I also, got to meet some of the other cast members who had appeared in that film too as well as meeting some of their friends who was there to support them. It was such a lovely reunion to see them all. It is lovely to hear that they are so thankful for my support and by that time I actually felt like I had become friends with them.

 

Back in 2017 early in March, I was very lucky to have Percelle Ascott and Dee Kartier from The Wall Of Comedy to come down to my University of Brighton in Hastings to help with my dissertation and do some interviewing with me.

 

I really also, enjoyed showing Percelle and Dee around Hastings even though Dee had been there before but, Percelle hasn’t. This was one of my favourite days. Early this year back in late February I got to go back up to London to my first chit chat event hosted by two of The Wall Of Comedy co-founders Joivan Wade and Percelle Ascott. I got to meet some lovely people there as well as being reunited again with two of The Wall Of Comedy co-founders Joivan Wade and Percelle Ascott.

 

Over the years I have had an incredible experience of getting to know The Wall Of Comedy co-founders, supporting them every step of the way and I wouldn’t have changed it any other way.