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A Bit of Background

I was diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 5 years old. One of my school teachers noticed that I didn’t play with other kids much. I would play by myself waving blades of grass in the air, lost in my imagination. I started school a year late because the sound of the school bell terrified me. I hated sudden loud noises such as balloons popping, sirens or fireworks. I’m still hypersensitive to sound which explains why I love music.

I remember going to Brisbane to have tests. They had an obstacle course. I remember it because I was terrified of every obstacle course that I ever encountered throughout my childhood. I don’t think I ever conquered the monkey bars. I still find the importance of them to be overrated.

I had occupational therapy. I had to walk across a balance beam. I remember wobbling and my arms waving around as I walked along it. I’m pretty sure I did blot tests too, either as part of my tests in Brisbane or at occupational therapy. This was in the early 90s. I think they have a different way of going about it now.

All the while my parents also knew that I loved music and singing, they nurtured and encouraged that. I was singing solos in church at a very young age, before school age.

My parents saw early on that I loved singing. I’m the one with the red headband holding a microphone. I believe if my parents didn’t put me on stage early on I would have worse stage fright issues now.

At around age 12 I remember my grandmother innocently ask me how I was dealing with my ‘problems’. It hit me hard. I knew I was different but I didn’t see it as a problem, just different. I remember feeling really upset and wanting to be ‘normal’.

As I reached my teenage years I remember the change from primary school to highschool was difficult.Every big change was scary. A whole new space, new people, new routine. I eventually settled and went through the usual wanting to fit in stage.

This was during a year 8 camp. For most of the day I had no interest of attempting to climb but I had a sudden burst of confidence and seized it.

I soon discovered though that trying to be cool was seriously overrated. I began to embrace myself and my quirks and even celebrate them. Most of my friends didn’t know I had aspergers. I didn’t like that the way I was had a label to it. I promoted individuality and sticking out from the crowd. I managed to make some wonderful quirky friends, most I still keep in touch with.

I loved drama class and performing in the school choir. I grew more comfortable with the stage. Also drama class helped my social skills and my understanding of human nature.

I’m glad I took on drama classes in high school. I’m on the far left. It helped majorly in gaining confidence on stage as well as gaining understanding of human nature – expressions, communication, relationships, status etc.

I hated home economics class. I was terrible at sewing (still am!) I was constantly reminded that I have minimal fine motor skills.

My parents really helped me by just loving me and not pushing me to be something I’m not. I’m forever grateful. I have the best parents in the world.

I graduated highschool not having a clue what I wanted to do. I did a bit of busking playing flute while I looked for work. I eventually got a job as a checkout operator. I had a lady from an employment agency for people with disabilities come and visit me at work now and then. After a while she stopped because she could see she wasn’t needed.

In 2008 I finally got serious about music and songwriting and auditioned for C3 college. I was accepted and studied songwriting in 2009 and 2010. C3 college is a bible college with a creative arts stream in Sydney. That big change caused me to do some growing up in my faith and in my skills as an artist. Also the experience of boarding had its challenges. I was blessed to live with lovely people. Living under a different roof with different rules meant I had to adjust. It was good for me.

It was at college that I met a man from Darwin majoring in vocals. I found his enthusiasm for learning intriguing. I fell in love.

On November 18th 2011 I did something that in my childhood I thought I would never do. I got married.

Luke and I live in Sydney. I still work in retail to pay the bills. Luke teaches singing from home. I’m currently working on my debut EP. We are planning to do gigs in pubs and weddings together. We busk in Manly and in the city too. So that’s a bit of background for you all 🙂

On November 18th 2011 I married Luke Kent. For most of my life I assumed I would never marry (as did my parents) I’m glad I did 🙂

2 responses to “A Bit of Background

  1. If you never told me you had Asperger’s, I never would have known. You always came across very unique and confident in yourself 🙂

  2. Erica C. ⋅

    I want to thank you so much for creating your blog, Facebook page, YouTube page, and everything else to allow us to see what an aspie child can become as an adult. My daughter IS YOU. She is 7 and she plays with strings, blades of grass, paper scraps exactly how you did as a child. Everything you describe about your childhood is her life now. She dreams to be an author, illustrator, a pediatrician, and an equestrian. She is academically ahead of her class (she can read at a 5th grade level, but she is entering 2nd grade this fall). She wants to get married and have a family. Reading about you and watching you gives me and my husband so much hope that she can live a normal life, where the label is not her barrier to her hopes and dreams. Thank you so much for giving us hope. I showed her your YouTube video and she smiled and was happy someone enjoyed paper and grass as much as she does. And she was so happy to learn about using a pencil for her stimming and anxiety needs while in class (although it is still dangerous and a chance she may fling it across the room…but we will figure something out). I look forward to following you with the hopes of you leaving a trail as to how to help our child adjust to the world.

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