From day one, when we talked about Fionn having aspergers, as PART of him…not him BEING autistic, we discussed it as a difference. Not less, not wrong. In fact Fionn could identify features as distinct strengths that he had due to his aspergers. I remember a journalist writing about Fionn subtitled a photograph as “Fionn Hamill suffers from aspergers disorder … he was offended. “i don’t SUFFER from aspergers , i LIKE how i am!” …. (Helen)
A few months ago Fionn had work experience, and organised for badio station in Belfast- was going to stay with our older daughter. His dad drove him up and they arrived a half hour early, and jimmy asked him if he would like to go for a coffee to spent the time. but Fionn said “no, am grand, dad. Am happier going on in to see who i need to get to.” And on he went. Neither of my older children could have done that.
But Fionn has never learned that awkward fear! He has also been in contact with the station about another placement- and although it is not their norm he showed such an affinity and interest- has sorting a week in summer holidays!
Today – He went in and got himself a JOB
-I love it.
Fionn has not got the same fears as our other “normal” children would have, so has just walked up on Saturday while out in his favourite pub and as he put it , “i like the people there, they are sound. So I asked would there be any chance of summer work going.”
The barman told him to come back today to chat manager.
His dad drove him there, and ready to chat to him about interview, but he was already out of the car, and on his way in.
The manager told him he was the first person who ever came in for a pint and left with a JOB ♥️♥️♥️♥️
He STARTS to work there this weekend.
God I LOVE aspergers – when you understand it as a strength.
Helen – mum.
These were Fionn’s words in a blog aged 13.
The strengths that my aspergers gives me
Lots of people would say that autism is a disease that makes you unable to learn and be sociable. To be 100% honest I don’t know if that’s true. If it is then I’m an exception.
I’m sure of this. I get really angry when people say that they’ve found a cure for autism cos that makes it seem like its awful and it’s a terrible thing to have. Believe me it’s not.
Here are the strengths my autism gives me…
1) I’m able to think outside the box. Which is good cos I have different ideas from everyone else. This could give me a wide range of jobs in the future, such as an inventor, games designer, engineer etc.
2) I concentrate on my own interests and fascinations. A example was when I was younger I LOVED Star Wars. I’d watch the DVDs all the time. But when someone else said that Star Wars was crap it didn’t bother me.
3) I absolutely 100% can’t lie! I mean if I try to lie I fail epically. This is a strength cos I know because I can’t lie, there’s no point in lying so I don’t lie which makes me a better child. But sometimes I laugh when I tell the truth and mum thinks that I’m lying and says it was ME who farted or whatever. Which is kinda annoying.
4) it makes me a better friend cos I never ever make fun of anyone. I’m always honest to my friends which makes me more reliable. I also stick up for my friends if they’re getting teased or anything. That makes me a better friend.
5) it helps me to make friends with the right kind of people. At first I’d just watch them and see what they’re like. If they seem rude or bold I’ll try and avoid them. If they’re nice I’ll talk to them and make friends
6) when something bad or rude is happening i walk away which is a REAL strength! Cos I don’t like getting into trouble.
7) I have the ability when someone is being nasty I just turn off my ears and not listen. Mum says I’m like a turtle cos when everyone else is getting pissed off I just pull up my shell and not listen.
8) my aspergers makes me think differently so when I’m listening to music I might change a note or two so it sounds nicer and sweeter. It makes me really imaginative and clever like willy wonka.
9) I know how to chill out after being stressed. I usually watch a film or listen to music.
Those are my autism strengths
from my ipad
That is exactly the way my son is and even tough the last few days have been tough for him , and playing football is his stress reliever ,I have told him all about you and how amazing you are Fionn , keep up the good work because you are an inspiration to everybody .
thankyou very much. that kind of comment means a lot to me.
you are wise beyond your years fionn. i love your positive attitude, i am sure it will help many realize having autism or having a kid with autism is not a bad thing. 🙂
Thanks for this, Fionn! I have lots of children in my write clubs who have Aspergers and they are almost as wonderful as you. Keep up the writing! I bet you have lots of great stories!
i love reading cos it relaxes me. sometimes i read too many books! my favoutie shop in the world is Oxfam book shop in Belfast. They know me and always help me find what i like.
I would like to be an author.
and illustrate in pencil .
what kinds of books do you like to read fionn? i think you would make an amazing author, you write so well. who knows, maybe one day a book written by you will be found for sale in your favorite book store 🙂
Hi there Fionn. Thank you so much for writing your blog and helping others. My husband and I just found your blog tonight. Our 6 year old daughter has Aspergers but we haven’t told her yet. She was only diagnosed in the summer so I guess, though we have known and loved her for 6 years, the Aspergers diagnosis is new to us but helps us to understand why she does or thinks in certain ways. What you say in your blog reminds us so much of her. She thinks so like you. I agree with you that Aspergers is not a disability. Our daughter is so smart, so interesting, so loving, so honest and many other things. She is so interesting to have around and NEVER boring! I’m sure your Mum and Dad feel the same way about you. I will look forward to reading more of your blog. I think you are great. From Paula.
We have learnt so much from having fionn. It gives life an extra flavour. He is the 3rd of 4 children and there is not a DAY when we don’t get an extra laugh
Really should have written down all the one liners 🙂
Your daughter is at a great age to understand her condition as normal – just different.
And its social challenges as things to work at 🙂
Learned behaviour but a target 🙂
Thank you Helen. She is the eldest along with her twin sister of 4 children 🙂 Her twin has Sensory Processing disorder so though not autistic struggles with concentration amongst other little bits and pieces. They are a class act though together and compliment each other so well. A laugh a minute and neither ever stop talking. I was so happy to read Fionn’s blog as it is brilliant to teach people who don’t understand Aspergers about what a gift it can be. We are much better now at managing and anticipating anxieties etc but will always be learning. We are 7 months down the road from diagnosis and still haven’t really told anyone. We find it hard to trust people with this info about our daughter because of the ignorance that is out there. I thank you and Fionn for doing such good work. Maybe I could mail you privately some time for some advice. Thank you x
they will bring each other on so well! There are so many sensory issues as part of the spectrum…to be honest i don’t know that there are ever any “purely aspergers” cases…i think all have some aspect of ADHD, sensory issues, …they just are to different degrees at different times.
We i suppose did the opposite..and i still remember many people’s reactions. I think that it opens up socially a lot more options than not telling people. But i have friends who wonder when they are going to use the “A” word, and i know one who divulged nothing – yet was plain to see how quirky her son was, and eventually in third yr at secondary school he had to almost “comeout” as bullying was due to nobody making allowances.
whereas i suppose we tell everyone …as we don’t treat it any differently than our asthmatic son…he will always have asthma – sometimes it will bother him more than others…but you know it gives people a degree of tolerance , and allows you to be progressive in terms of what you challenger her to do socially..
i do remember at one stage way back when , when we were focusing on how to help him make friends, thinking how much more tolerant people are to a visibile disability, than a learning difference…and in Fionn s case thats what it was…but he felt less conspicuous is class with people knowing why he was getting help, than wondering.
i don’t know if that helps?
There is no right way and wrong way…that just was what we found.
And yes will be on this site every day – as we police it 🙂 so any day you need to mail…shout!
Only some years back I received my diagnose and learned that only my perception of the world is different. I truly believe that we can do remarkable things if we learn how to function in this world. I believe that I am me the way I am. I’d suggest you learn to be more you!
I think understanding his strengths will help Fionn find a path for himself.
Will read his to him later.
Reblogged this on at least i have a brain and commented:
Aspergers is part of me. Some parts of it are ADVANTAGES if you use them right.