Hi, my name is Blake, I am 16 yrs old and I have autism. I am a young leader with my local Cubs unit, I also work part time with a pizza company and I’m in my last year of high school.
What has been your journey so far?
My journey so far has been faced with many obstacles and challenges. One of these have been with school, for many years I didn’t get the support I needed for my autism as it wasnt diagnosed and schools kept saying I was just naughty. I finally got support and my diagnosis after a 10 yr battle in 2015. I was originally told I’d never get any GCSE’s as support wasn’t there when I needed it and I was very far behind! However, I will be getting GCSE’s! They may not be great but at least it’s something.
I was also a young carer to my little sister, as she was born with a undiagnosed syndrome, so I helped my mom and big sister by playing with her and keeping her entertained so my mom could cook tea ect. My little sister also was diagnosed with a brain cancer in July 2014. I had to watch my sister fight for her life for 4 years. However the cancer finally took her and she gained her wings in June 2018.
I’ve never really had a stable ‘dad’ in my life, those that I’ve accepted as my dad have both walked away so I’m glad I have my mom to encourage me to do things instead.
I have been part of the scouting community since I was 5! My eldest sister was in brownies and she always got to go camping and doing fun things so mom joined me up with ‘ boy brownies’ aka Beavers. The group I was with didn’t do a lot of outdoor activities and I did get a little bored but mom always said it’ll get better. I joined 3rd Worcester when we moved to Worcester and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, which is why I’m a young leader with their Cubs unit.
What have been the biggest obstacles you have encountered?
The biggest obstacle I have encountered was watching my little sister die. Especially after seeing her go through many operations and treatments and the long hospital stays away from my mom. In the end I was allowed to join my mom and attend hospital school. It has been hard trying to fit into a world that I don’t seem to fit into. And as I’m getting ready to leave school it’s getting harder for me as no one wants an autistic person, my choices seem very limited.
Who inspired you to find courage?
My courage and determination come from a few people. The main one being my mom. She has shown me that no matter what happens she’s always there and supportive, she keeps pushing forward and doesn’t let things bring her down for long. My mom tries her best to remain positive even though I know her heart is broken. I hope to have her determination. Bear Grylls and Muhammad Ali are also inspiring people as both have fought for what they want and have never given up!
What is the most important life lesson life has taught you?
Life has taught me to treat others how you want to be treated and to always look for the positives in everyday. To always be kind as you just don’t know if someone may have needed that kindness that day.
What is your dream adventure?
My dream adventure is to become a Bear Grylls instructor and travel the world teaching others how to survive in the wild.