Point of view: autistic young man

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For my 21st birthday, my sister Zena paid for me to have singing lessons, as I was always on the karaoke. When I arrived for my first lesson it was with one of the Journey South brothers, Karl Pemberton. He had been on X Factor, so I was shy singing in front of him. But it has flourished from there. When I heard of the death of my friend Ziggy, I felt all sorts of emotions. I was struggling to stop thinking about it and felt so sad and shocked. When I went to my social group, Autism Matters, where Ziggy had also attended, a lot of the other members were also feeling a mix of emotions. For people with autism, processing emotions is difficult, and one way that I could express mine was through music. In my mind as I was walking one day and thinking of Ziggy, and song verses started to form. I then worked with Karl to get those emotions out to form my tribute song “Missing You”. I wrote the lyrics but Karl Pemberton and Beth Miller (aka Beth Jackson) sang it. It’s on YouTube. Another of my songs is called Wake Me Up, under the name Jenna Louise. It’s important for me to share my experience of living with autism to help people understand my thinking processes and the difficulties people with autism can face in mainstream society.

PS, in terms of referring to me as ‘with autism’ or ‘autistic’, I absolutely don’t mind.

Bobby Latheron
Author: Bobby Latheron

Bobby Latheron
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Bobby Latheron is from Middlesbrough (‘just near Stuart Park’) and the author of the book 'My world, in my words'.

Listen to Bobby’s song “Missing You” at youtu.be/LDhrb26qTgA

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