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Jess Benton

Jess Benton

Name: Jess Benton
Age: 19
Year of the Fix: 2017
Location: Perry Barr, Birmingham
Campaign: To encourage people to accept autism

I have autism, a mental contidion characterised by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people.

 

I was bullied throughout secondary school. I broke down and wondered what was wrong with me and why I couldn't just be like everyone else. 

 

When I was 15 I found a sign of hope. I came across an online autistic community of activists - ordinary people on the spectrum who championed autism acceptance. 

 

They spoke about neurodiversity - which accepted autism as a natural difference in human brains, with autistic people needing to be accepted by society and accommodated instead of being looked down on or viewed as an abstract mystery to be solved by the next medical breakthrough. 

 

The ideas of acceptance, autistic pride and diversity, without exaggeration, saved my life and made me a happier person. 

 

Autism activists speaking out and campaigning was what really helped raise my self-esteem, so I hope my film does the same thing for others. 

Lesley Taylor from Birmingham City University supported me with this Fix. 

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