"You can't tell I’m autistic from my appearance." - Aaliyah

I’m Aaliyah, I’m 17 years old and I just got diagnosed with autism. My hobbies are horseback riding and I do wing chun, which is a martial art. I am currently studying to become a hairdresser.

The impact of autism on my life is that people often don't understand what autism entails. You can't tell I’m autistic from my appearance. But I have trouble with changes, with planning, I don't like fruit and vegetables and I have a very monotonous diet. I often get judged on this. I have trouble showing emotions as well. But I am very driven in my education and sports. That's an advantage of it! I'm giving it the full 100%!

I am proud that, at the age of 17, I have almost finished my education. So, I’ve got that in my pocket! Even though I've only just been diagnosed and school was pretty much always a difficult time for me. Because I was/am always exhausted of all the stimuli.

My tip for girls with autism: It's okay to be different, as long as you believe in yourself and make things as suitable as possible for you.

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