Our Spectrum Life section of the website features many blogs penned by autistic writers. This week, we’re pleased to welcome 17-year-old Lily Murphy who has just released a personal memoir of her autism journey…
Hi, I’m Lily Murphy, am 17 years old and I am autistic.
I attend a mainstream high school in the North West of England, with extra support from my teachers. As a girl I naturally ‘mask’ my autism so most people are totally unaware of it.
I decided to write my book after reading Sienna Castellon’s book ‘The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide – How To Grow Up Awesome And Autistic’ and I was so inspired by it. It was also a way of me coping during lockdown and to come to terms with my diagnosis (which was when I was age 9, but I have found it hard to accept and to share with people, for fear it would alienate me from my peers).
I started writing this book a while ago, and have just kept updating it. I struggled to transition from junior school to high school and really struggled with anxiety as a result. It was a huge change for me, and I found that some teenagers are less tolerant and understanding of someone who is seen as a little different. I was called “weirdo” and other not-so-nice names.
My classmates would not want to be in a group with me doing work, which was very hurtful. But by sharing my experiences and coping methods, I thought it might be useful for others with autism to relate to and not feel so alone.
At the time this was happening to me, I didn’t know how to handle it and had nothing to refer to I felt was relevant to me. But I also wanted neurotypical people to understand how it feels to be autistic too.
My teachers have also found it a useful reference as they were unaware of how I was feeling and what struggles I was having each day. As I tend to ‘mask’ things, to try and fit in, and they can’t always tell I am feeling uncomfortable, they have now put things in place to help me. They ensured I have the extra support, extra time, different classrooms for certain things, and that I have a process in place and point of referral when I am struggling.
My book may even hopefully help some readers to recognise signs and be able to get diagnosed themselves, to get the right help and support. I wanted to also highlight the positive message that being different isn’t a bad thing, it actually makes you a very special person.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Lily’s book ‘My Journey With Autism’ you can buy from Amazon now via this link, with paperback copies priced £9.99, or as a free e-book via KindleUnlimited.