Disability Pride Month (July 2023)

Disability Pride Month (July 2023)

In July, people are celebrating Disability Pride Month...even me. Why? Because I have autism. Yeah, that's right! After 4 years of starting social media via Instagram, I've been keeping this personal until now. I was just too shy and found it difficult to gain the courage to speak up. Now I really should have mentioned this way sooner and I've learned that disabilities are very important to talk about in life.

Disability Pride Month is held every year in July internationally. This is a celebration where many disabled people are gathered, and give others a chance to raise awareness with all of their support and understanding.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder which makes people's brains work a little differently. People with ASD have trouble communicating and talking with other people. Most things in life are also more difficult than usual for autistic people.

I was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3...during the MMR epidemic in 2001, actually. Since then, I've been getting a lot of support from my family, friends, schools and colleges. Sure, I might have have been bullied a little at primary school, but they were just kids. What can you do? Everybody else were very supportive and helped me get through it all.

During my childhood years, my autism made me get upset easily and have meltdowns, because I didn't know what was going on. However, I found out that I liked to craft. When I was about 5 or 6 (?), I started to do felt sewing with kits that included ready made felt shapes. Then I moved on to make my own creations with felt as I got older. However I realised that using a lot of felt was a bit too expensive, so I decided to start knitting when I was 12. This hobby continued for 10 years...until COVID struck in 2020, when I was 22.

I was at Colchester Institute, studying BA Fashion & Textiles at this time. I was devastated that I was unable to access the facilities, because of the pandemic, and we had to communicate with each other via Zoom as a result. Even though this was a shock for me, and obviously the rest of my family, I managed this brilliantly. I may not have been able to get to uni, but at least I had CAD software to draw designs for prints. And that's when I fell in love with graphic designing.

But what I got into the most was crocheting, because unlike knitting, the possibilities are endless. For example, you can use a hook to crochet an object and make it the exact shape you want. Technically, you could knit to make spheres. But that would require multiple needles, and crocheting with just one hook was much more simple. I even started my Etsy account in the middle of COVID, in July 2020. But after graduating at Colchester in October 2021, I decided to start my own website via Shopify, because I felt like it had a more personal and unique feel than Etsy.

In May 2021, I even did a 15 minute Zoom presentation. Not only was it the most challenging achievements I've ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding ones. However, this was via Zoom during COVID, so goodness knows how it would have went, had I done it in front of people in person.

My most recent hobby that I'm doing at the moment is plush making. On one hand, I love doing this project, because of the minky fabric--I love the way the fabric feels. See, autism also affects people's 5 senses. For example, some don't like particular smells, whilst others love different kinds of textures. Anyway, back to plush making. On the other, selling these sort of products unfortunately could be temporarily, as plush making is more limited than crocheting. This can be rather frustrating for me. There's more information about it, if you would like to click here. I really hope to start selling these products soon, but I'm unable to, because of my massive backlog for the past 2 weeks.

So my autism may have made it difficult for me to talk to people in the past, but I'm definitely not afraid to show off my crafting skills physically or via social media. But I also need to be aware what's out there in real life and on the internet, and that's why I'm the one who should decide what's right for my business. Thank you so much for reading this blog, and I hope I can continue to sell and show you future projects and products!

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