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