“Autism is just a part of me!” - Madelief

My name is Madelief, I am 19 years old and I’m from Schiedam. In daily life I’m a busy person, I study biology and medical laboratory research, and I’m working on setting up my own creative company (@madeby .liev).

Autism affects my life in many ways. I found that I actually function very differently than others, and I keep discovering new aspects of this! I’m overstimulated and tired easily, I go beyond my limits quickly, and social situations are difficult for me. But I also get good grades at school and I'm very creative. I experience many disadvantages of autism, but advantages too. Autism is just a part of me!

I am very proud of how much I have learned about myself so far. I am a true go-getter and I really believe that I can achieve anything I want. I will never give up. But I’m also learning to listen to myself more and more, what do I want? What's good for me? So I don't go over my limits. I’m getting better and better at finding a balance there. I’m so proud of that!

My tip for other autistics: Talk to others! Talking really helps. And surround yourself with people who make you feel good and loved. Don't be afraid to point out what you need, that will only make you strong!

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