An Interview with Catelyn

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Recently I asked Catelyn if she would like to be interviewed for the blog.  To talk about herself and  High Functioning Autism (HFA) to help provide insight and help spread autism awareness.  Her reply?

“Yes!”

So without further ado, here’s what Catelyn had to say:

Catelyn:

Tell the readers a little bit about yourself:

My name is Catelyn, I am 9 years old and I am in the 3rd grade.  I like doing cartwheels, playing with my kindle and my acting class

Recently you started seeing a therapist and were told you had High Functioning Autism.  What does that mean to you?

It means I have a few things I need to work on.  It means I am like Declan, but not like Declan.  Like, I am not as bad as Declan.

What does being on the Autism Spectrum mean to you?

Well, the Autism Spectrum is a line and I am on one end of the line.  Declan is more in the middle.  He has more autism.  Until I saw my therapist I didn’t know about it.

What are some differences you see between you and Declan?

Declan has a harder time understanding things.  He can’t go to Kindergarten yet.  I can sit in class and follow directions.  He can’t.  He hits people and I know not to hit people.

Do you see any similarities between you and Declan?

We are brother and sister and we both have brown eyes.  We both like to listen to music.  We both make a lot of facial expressions.

How is your friend situation going this year?

Getting better.  I started seeing my therapist over the summer and learning how to be a good friend.  I didn’t have any friends before and now I have 7.

How was your friend situation before?

I was bad with friends.  I didn’t have any.  Last year was a tough year for me.  I was very emotional.  Other girls were mean to me.

What things do you find difficult to do?

I find it hard not to get so mad or sad at times, or at people.  Sometimes I can’t keep it in and I start to cry or will grit my teeth at someone.  I’m not crying everyday like I was before, so that is good.

Also I have a hard time doing things other people want to do, but I do not want to do.  Like kickball.  Sometimes everyone wants to play kickball and I do not like kickball.  I try to problem solve and see if we can find a game that we all like to play.  If we can’t I will just leave and play by myself.

Also, when people try to help me but I do not understand them.  Or they tell me I did something wrong.  I get angry at them.  I cry and make my mean face at them.

What are you good at?

I am really good at doing cartwheels.  I am playing outside with the kids on the street better and I am learning to keep my emotions under control.

How do you feel people see you now?

More people try to talk to me this year.  The person in the desk next to me talks to me.  Last year people didn’t want to talk to me or partner with me for school work.  They left me alone.

Today we had to do school work with a partner, and the person in the desk next to me and I wanted to be partners.  The teacher told me I was going to be Anna’s partner.  I got upset at first, but then realized Anna wanted to be my partner.  That has never happened before.  Two people wanted to be my partner.  I was really happy.

I guess people want to do more things with me.

What do you want people to know about High Functioning Autism?

That people with HFA are trying.  Ultimately we have different problems.  We have a harder time doing things than regular people but we are trying.

 

I really enjoyed talking with Catelyn so openly about herself and HFA.  She was very insightful.  I learned more about her.  I knew she had a tough year last year, but when I would ask about her day she was silent.  I did not know that no one wanted to partner with her.  She couldn’t tell me that.  I am so glad she was able to get it out now and see the positive change.  She is feeling really good about herself, and that is great.

We spent some time going over different articles and snippets about HFA.  Here are a couple we really liked:

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10 thoughts on “An Interview with Catelyn

  1. Loved the spelling out of ASPERGER’S (may have just mispelled it). Let’s people know what is different about the individuals who are blessed with way of thinking.

    The interview with your daughter was insightful. From reading her responses, I may have started going through this in grade school just like she is currently doing. It does get better as she develops more GOOD friends. Still keep in touch with the ones I made back then thanks to the internet.

    1. Thank you! That is the one Catelyn liked too – she really identified with it. Wonderful! Good to know!

  2. This is great. I wish I could do cartwheels! I’m so glad Catelyn is getting help from her therapist and making lots of friends, and hopefully good ones like you say. How nice to have two people wanting to be her partner too 🙂 I’m glad she’s finding it easier to overcome challenges. Go Catelyn!

  3. I’m so happy for Catelyn. My daughter Katlyn is 22 and I believe she has undiagnosed HFA (her son is Tyson) and everything else I have read on the subject could be about my daughter as well. She has no desire to be tested and I have decided not to push, but kudos to your Catelyn and so excited to hear she is making friends and learning new ways to cope. Coping skills was always tough for my Katie.

    1. Coping skills can be tough – it is easy to keep handling things the same way, even if it is not favorable. It is wonderful you can be there for your daughter. Thank you! I am so happy for her too!!

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