Life as a child has not been as I wished it to be. From a very young age my parents have been struggling as they had no idea why I behaved this way or what could possibly be the reason why I have not been progressing at school as other children did. My parents decided to send me to a doctor and was then referred to a psychologist as I presented signs of autism. After many tests it was then confirmed that I have autism which led to also having a learning challenge. My journey as a young boy was so different to that of other boys. As a result, my mum had to watch me very closely.
I went to Quest High School and there I felt as if I did not belong. After some time my brother saw how unhappy I was, he then helped me find a school that would cater for my disability. That is when I learnt about this academy, I Can! I applied and went through the application process. The day I was informed of starting at I Can!, I was excited but also nervous at the same time. Scared in terms of: would I like it there and would the other learners accept me. I was always so self-conscious and always tried so hard fitting in. This academy has been one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. I am so confident, I have friends and above all I can be myself. The best part was winning best dressed at the Valentines competition as I have never won anything in my life and I was not afraid to step up and go collect my prize. I had such a huge smile on my face, truly one of the best days of my life. I could not believe that this was me and how my life has changed.
I am grateful for this opportunity of being surrounded by such amazing people. Having a learning challenge has its ups and downs but it should not limit you or discourage you from living your dreams. I for one have not, this has allowed me to dream, be more confident, gain experience and become a better man.
By Unathi Magwa, 19