My name is Gabriel.

I am Autistic.

What does this mean?  Well, for me, I process information from my senses more intensely and, sometimes, my body does not respond the way I want it to.  This can make me very frustrated.

My brain is wired a little differently to yours, so I have to concentrate a lot harder when I am trying to learn something.  I don’t always learn the same way that other children do.  But once I’ve learnt something, I tend to never forget it – I have a photographic memory.

I tend to absorb all stimuli around me – smells, lights, colours, sounds.  I am not always able to filter out what’s not important, so I often get overwhelmed.   Sometimes I have a ‘meltdown’ as a result.

I am still learning how to speak.   Please do not think this means that I don’t understand everything you say.  I do.  It’s just that the signals, from my brain to my mouth, tend to get lost, when I want to say something.  Or the muscles in my mouth don’t work as well as I wish they did.  So now my brain has to learn a new way of redirecting these messages and I have to do exercises to strengthen the muscles in my mouth.  This takes time, patience and a lot of perseverance.

Autism is only a part of who I am.  I am also mischievous, funny, very loving, highly intelligent, shy, intuitive and, just like you, perfectly imperfect.