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Martin Berisford

Martin Berisford

Name: Martin Berisford
Age: 24
Year of the Fix: 2017
Location: Coventry, Warwickshire
Campaign: To encourage young disabled people not to be held back by their disability

When I was six years old I was diagnosed with autism. As I grew up I started to learn about the stigma attached to things and I hated having the label 'autistic'. At secondary school I kept it a secret because I wanted to be like everyone else.

 

Looking back, it feels like the wrong decision because keeping up the lie that I'm just someone in the crowd was very stressful. I kind of retreated into myself and withdrew from people and classes. My school work really went downhill and that pushed me deeper into this bad place. At my worst I wouldn't talk to people, I wouldn't sleep or eat.

 

No one expected me to succeed at school and I only scraped through exams that I should have done well in. It was only when I went to a special educational needs college where I had one to one sessions with a mentor that I was taught how to cope with the stress of social situations. In that environment I was able to embrace who I was and do well.

 

I have since graduated from university, have a fantastic job for a charity in Coventry and a lovely girlfriend. 

The following Fixers helped me with this Fix: 

 

Vincent Lawless

Shannon Good

Katie Webb

Thomas McGuffie

Joe Cunliffe

Harry Laidlaw

Jane Keenleyside

Katie Webb

Michelle Rowlands from Coundon Court School and Anita Franklin from the University of Coventry supported me with this Fix. 

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