We love to share the experiences of people who attend our programs, like Evan — who attends one of our Community Hubs. At the hub, Evan takes part in programs that help him to develop his life skills and where he is a valued member in many group activities which assist him to reach his goals.
Evan has shared some of his achievements and his future goals with us below, as well as how he wants to be treated as a person living with autism.
How inclusive spaces make me feel accomplished
I participated in the Volunteering Program with the Learning Hub at the Yooralla Op Shop in Chelsea (pre-COVID). It was a positive experience because I could travel there myself from home and I could use the cash register, which was fun! The boss taught me how to use it. He said, “You’re doing a good job,” and it made me feel accomplished.
Other duties at the Op Shop included dusting shelves and sorting clothes. I put the clothes onto hangers and separated them according to male, female and children.
I’ve tried applying for work at supermarkets but have not been successful. I would have liked more support in this process so that I could understand what I needed to do to better my chances. It would be good if the people at the supermarkets could let me know why I am not successful.
I was really proud of myself when I got a National Special Olympics certificate when I was thirty-three years old. I did basketball, swimming and ten pin bowling. I’ve been participating in these sports for about fourteen years so far.
As a person living with autism, I like to be treated as an equal and not be discriminated against.
I am good at remembering random things such as ‘dad jokes’ and I like to tell them, especially the bad ones! I can ride a bike and I can navigate Melbourne’s train system really well and get myself to just about any destination.
People living with autism are good people to hang out with!