My name is Lia, a 27 year-old autistic blogger and autism advocate.
I was born in 1993, in Cheshire, England, and often spent my time playing alone rather than interacting with others.
Growing up, rather than playing games with other children, I was fascinated by drawing, watching cartoons, and creating my own stories. My main childhood special interests were Rugrats, then The Fairly OddParents, then SpongeBob SquarePants (something that still remains a special interest to this day.)
Cartoons helped me to understand the world in a way no person could. The facial expressions were easy to understand, and I’d often learn how to deal with real-life situations by seeing how cartoon characters handled them (although I do understand there are many situations where this would be a terrible idea!)
To me, I never really felt “different” as a child, but rather I felt that I was the only “normal” person in a world where nobody made sense. People would utter strange phrases, make facial expressions that contradicted how they felt, and if you did something that was considered wrong or rude, they’d never tell you what it was.
After 2 years of waiting and testing, I was diagnosed as autistic in 2004, when I was 10 years old. It was at this point that I truly began to understand myself, and who I was. I was always taught by my parents that my autism is a good thing, and that there’s nothing about it to be ashamed of.
I was first introduced to the idea of autism advocacy during the year 2013 when I was 19 years old. I was attending a convention called “The Autism Show”, and got to learn of these famous autistic people that were showing their talents on stage and performing on stage. It was the first time that I was inspired to get out there myself as an autistic person, and show who I am.
In 2016, I created my first autism blog, known today on Tumblr as “spongebob-autisticquestions”. I began to spot many autism blogs out there where people would submit their questions to the admin, and the admin would answer them. I thought it would be an interesting concept to twist that around, and have it be the admin asking the followers questions about autism. It would be a unique place where people could share their answers and experiences, as well as somewhere where people could learn how autistic people see and experience things.
I also created these blogs on both Tumblr and Facebook to help autistic people understand themselves better, and to realise that there is absolutely nothing wrong with who they are.
Now with over 7000 followers on Tumblr, and 6000 followers on Facebook, I really want to take the next step and further my autism advocacy. That’s why I opened this blog, to reach a wider audience and teach people about autism from my own perspective.
I also aim to become an advocate in real life, speaking about at events in the future. I made my first speech about autism in 2018 at a local Autism Pride event, and hope to get my voice out there in the future to help make the world a better place for autistic people.