Hello, my name is Zachary Stoner and I have autism — my autism is mild but it still does affect me.
Some of the symptoms that I have are I can lose control or concentration of what I do/ and generally get carried away.
I used to hit my head on walls and with my own fists when I got angry; this was sheer frustration.
I don’t understand things very well and need specific instructions.
Now I know that you are thinking, “Oh, that must be horrible,” and yes, it has been, but I feel I am through the worst now.
The advantages are it has given me true friends who understand me and like me for who I am and support me. It has given me an amazing imagination that doesn’t work like yours, so I have been told.
I’ve also learned to only look at something for just a split second and analyze it in my brain like a computer.
If I was given the option to get rid of my autism…I wouldn’t ….why would I?
I have advantages over most people and I am stronger mentally and I have learned how to give emotional support.
When I was younger, from about six, I would always say “I hate my autism, I wish I never had it!” But now I realize that my autism has made me who I am, why would I change who I am?
If you have autism and it is troubling you or anything else, then seek help and find out how to fix your issues and I promise you, you will grow over any obstacle, it just takes time and support.
I have had and still continue to get support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), my school, and parents.
Zachary Stoner is 15 years old. He was born in France but his parents returned to the UK when he was three. Zachary was finally diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s and social anxiety at around seven years of age.
Zachary is currently year 11 at Tadcaster Grammar School where he says he is lucky enough to get a lot of support from their SENCO team and a few close friends.
His hobbies include gaming and YouTube where he creates videos that showcase what games he likes and how to play them. Zachary also takes suggestions to see what people like and don’t like so he can improve his skills in video making. He also shares a passion for animals like his mother who breeds and shows dogs.
Zachary’s YouTube channel is redstoneza stoner (not suitable for young children)
This article was featured in Issue 52 – Celebrating the Voices of Autism