I was elected to be an ambassador at the end of 2011 and it was by far one of the proudest moments of my life. Sure winning the Bring it on Britain awards in 2010 was great and helped raise a lot of awareness of aspergers and autism but now I could finally get my teeth in and help to change the world for autistic people like myself.
Since I started in my role I have become actively involved in the local autism partnership who hold bi-monthly meetings working to set up a new care and support system for autistic adults in the Plymouth area. I've attended 3 meetings so far and its really good to be able to offer input from an autistic perspective so that ultimately the new strategy will benefit from understanding things from both sides of the coin so to speak.
I have been lucky enough to be featured in both my local newspaper for the NAS Christmas campaign but also on BBC radio too with David Fitzgerald on the Interactive Lunch show. It was a real pleasure to meet David and to have the chance to be a guest on the BBC and to help get the message out there more about autism and educate people about it.
I was also a guest on a local internet based radio station called Positively Autistic which is hosted by the wonderful Tracy Roberts who herself has an autistic daughter. The show is broadcast online but reaches an audience all over the world and during the show I was a guest on there were calls from America and Australia to talk to me so again it was a wonderful opportunity to spread the word and to talk about what I'm doing as an ambassador in the south west. Tracy asked if I would return to do another show sometime and I said I'd be happy to. You can find out more and listen to Positively Autistic by searching for the Positively Autistic group on Facebook or follow on twitter (@posautistic). To listen to the show and to see the programme schedule go to www.positivelyautistic.com
Next week on the 23rd March I will be attending the autism partnership board meeting again to offer my input and make more progress. On a personal level since being an ambassador my confidence and social skills have grown and developed more so as well as helping others and getting the message out there being an ambassador has helped me. I now have a girlfriend and this is all due to my increase in confidence.
Aside from next week I am also planning to set up a charity event here in Devon to raise money for the NAS and am considering either a 50k bike ride similar to the Bristol event or a 50k charity walk. Next month of course is World Autism Awareness Day and I am looking forward to playing my part in letting the whole world know via social networking about autism.
Sadly although this is Olympic year I wont be one of the torch bearers although I was nominated but will be cheering on Kevin Healey a fellow ambassador from Staffordshire who has been chosen to be a torch bearer..........Well done Kev !!!!