Living With Autism Shouldn’t Come With Limitations & Barriers
Maltese Society & Disabilities
In the last 15 years, Malta has definitely come a long way when it comes to the country’s awareness on disabilities, including Autism.
I’ve seen general society changes over time & I’ve also witnessed how things in my own life have evolved as I've grown up. When reflecting on my life so far, I see 2 different versions of myself.
The guy I was walking through the corridors of my old school. And me today walking through quad in between lectures at the University of Malta. It’s been an amazing ride.
Growing My Confidence
People would describe me now as a confident, sociable & outgoing person. But I wasn't always like that. I used to be very shy & quiet.
The kind of person that stayed in the corner of a room & walked around with my head down. Growing up, it was a process to gain confidence. Sixth form helped as well as getting into university.
I joined student organisations & youth activism. This is what led me to where I am now with being an activist for disability rights & issues. I’m also more aware of what living on the Autism spectrum actually means.
I say that I live on the Autism Spectrum, since I am a person with autism. I don't see it as something which I suffer from, but something which I live with.
This journey has come with many ups & downs. Some I look back & reflect on, some I've progressed through, & some I still face.
Over time & living with autism, I've actually come to realise that a disability it isn't just the condition or impairment itself that a person is diagnosed with.
It also comes with the barriers & limitations that society places in front of people with disabilities. Especially when they're denied the access & accommodation that they need.
Feelings & Visibility
We are all human & we are all different. But not all disabilities are the same. Some are visible while others aren’t. And in the case of autism, it's an invisible disability.
This is something that I've thought about even more as time passes by. Especially when people come across the fact that I’m on the autism spectrum or when I tell them.
Don't get me wrong, I don’t want to scream from the rooftops about this. But I don't want to hide what's already invisible either.
Live Life Without Shame
We've come a long way in terms of awareness surrounding disabilities, but there's still a long way to go.
The stigma around disability can still be felt across society, discrimination is still present in some areas & taboos about certain subjects continue to impact people's lives.
People with disabilities should never feel ashamed of who they are. We need to keep on striving for a world where disability doesn't matter. On the other hand, empowerment, inclusion, & acceptance do matter.