My name is Julia Young and I have an important story to share
When I was 2 years old my mother noticed I was using soft toys and funny voices to communicate. We didn't know till I was 8 or 9 when someone from my primary school suggested I may have autism and I was diagnosed with PDDNOX or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, now known as autistic spectrum disorder.
At first, Mum was a bit worried but then later she realised this was how I communicated. And that has lead to where I am now, where I am a bit more creative because I developed personalities for all of my soft toy friends.
My lemurs help me out with a radio show on Otago Access Radio and for the past 2 years I have created two very special short films about acceptance and not being afraid to show all your talents to the world. It also has the message about how important it is to always be yourself and not be afraid to show who you are and not letting people tell you how you should act and be and how important diversity is.
I am also organising an awesome, inclusive event for Disability Pride Week at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens on Friday 18 September 2020 from 12 to 2pm where everyone, including soft toys, can hang out without being judged. There will be art on display and music.
I believe that Disability Pride week is a very important event and it should be Disability Pride year because we are all unique, talented, creative souls!
Image description: Julia sitting at a desk with her collection of soft toy lemurs.