"So I went to two private schools. The first private school I went to, my primary school, I didn't feel very included or understood. I don't think they'd ever even heard of what autism was before they had met me, before I got diagnosed. And I wish they talked to me and my parents more, instead of assuming what was best.
It was almost like, oh, you have a disability now. We are going to do these things that we think need to be done to someone with a disability. We're not going to talk to you or discuss what you need. You know? And I felt very different and not part of the community there.
My second school that I went to, St. Mary's College, from year six to year 12, I found was a lot more inclusive. They hadn't ever had another autistic student either, but they were more open to hear from me and my parents, and hear what we needed, and then go from there and work with us. And my grades went up in like the first two years that I moved, from like D's to A's. So yeah, definitely made a significant difference.
Because I was getting support, and in my old school I think they didn't think I was very smart, so they'd just give me simple work. While in the new school they kept challenging, and me realizing that I was smart. I just worked in a different way, and maybe things would take a bit longer. Or we'd have to go a different way around it, but I could do what everyone else could do. You know?"