I have a new (unpaid) job! Clearly I’m pretty excited about it. It’s putting my analytical skills to good use helping an awesome new charity that I found called the I Can Network. It’s an organisation aimed at rethinking autism from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’. We focus on encouraging an attitude of self worth, inspiring confidence to tackle the challenges of life, and promoting a culture where people are celebrated for their strengths, not ostracised for their weaknesses.
It’s really exciting to see where the organisation is going. The need is so great. We have such an opportunity to help so many! I have always been passionate about inclusion and dealing with difference. My Aspergers discovery has really put a name to all of that. There are many groups and individuals that society doesn’t know how to handle. In some sense the problem is too big to tackle all at once. Focusing on my experience of autism gives me a clear place to start. Who knows where it will lead in the future, but for now, crucially, it allows me to do something rather than nothing.
This weekend I’m going on my first I Can Teens Camp. We’re taking 40 kids away for an action packed weekend. They are all ‘on the spectrum’ somewhere, and to be honest I don’t really know what that means, and have no idea what to expect, but for the moment, who needs labels. Every person is unique, with different needs and different desires. Connect the unconnected. Support the unsupported. Inspire the uninspired. It’s not rocket surgery. The ‘quiet magic’ of the I Can Network is to give kids a safe, supportive environment and then sit back and watch them grow into the creative talented individuals they were told they could never be! Wish us luck!!