What was myVoice?
The myVoice project brought together young autistic people aged 16-25 as youth consultants, content creators and online facilitators. The three-year project funded by the Department of Health was aimed at connecting autistic young people with other young adults with autism and giving them a say in their local communities.
What did myVoice achieve?
We worked in four London areas to help improve the kinds of local services that autistic people use in their every day lives - from health centres to colleges, libraries and youth clubs. Our youth consultants were trained on how to review and give feedback on the quality of local services and worked with local councils to make improvements.
The volunteers created content such as blogs and videos, about a range of different areas in life and how to tackle them. They wanted to share their experiences with others in order to help them navigate the world. They also hosted online chats where young people could share their tips and advice with others.
Where can I find myVoice content?
Although the project is now finished, the content produced is still useful for autistic young people. We have pulled together our favourite pieces on a variety of topics.
- Top tips for dealing with bullying - Louise dealt with her bullies and you can too. Here she talks about her experience and shares her top tips for putting an end to the bullying.
- myVoice chat with Bullying UK - as one of the clear scars in modern-day society faced by children and young people across the UK, bullying more often than not will touch the lives of individuals in education and into adulthood.
- Mate crime - Holly explains what mate crime is and the things you can do if you think you've been made a victim of mate crime.
Celebrating autistic differences
- Celebrating LGBT and neurodiversity - Jonathan talks about the intersection between autism and sexuality for LGBT History Month 2017.
- How autism affects me - Daniel shares his personal account of being autistic, sharing the positives that he feels autism has for him as well as the things he struggles with.
- Ten misconceptions about autism that seriously need to be cleared up - Georgia busts some autism myths and misconceptions.
- My special interest - Harriet shares her special interest in film and photography.
- Why are young people with autism getting excluded? - a writer from The Mix talks about the issues facing autistic young people in education - who are much more likely to be excluded than their peers.
- What you need to know about further education - know the facts about your options for post-16 education.
- What I wish I knew on my first day at a new school or college - George shares his tips on what he wishes he knew when he started a new school.
- Life after school - Stephen shares his experience of life at school with Asperger's, nerves about receiving his GCSE results and hopes for the future.
- Using the London Underground - Georgia shares her pro tips for navigating her special interest - the London Underground.
- The 'A' word: A review by Jonathan Andrews - Jonathan's review of the first series of 'The A Word' a BBC drama that focuses on a young boy whose family is rocked by the idea that his quirks are related to autism.
Friendships, relationships and loneliness
- Q&A: Loneliness - Kerrie answers some questions about loneliness for the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission.
- What is loneliness for me? - Shane talks about his experience of loneliness for the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. Shane presented this speech at the Parliamentary launch.
- A new loneliness perspective - Jack writes about unexpected joys of purposeful loneliness and the occasional consequence - isolation, which can have negative effects.
- Loneliness: music and gigs - Jack writes about his enjoyment of music and the opportunities gigs provide to meet others who are just as interested in the same artists as you are.
- Ten reasons why people with autism may struggle to develop and maintain friendships - autistic people may struggle to develop relationships with others because of conventional social rules, which don't make sense. Lauren shares her reasons these struggles might exist.
- What I wish I knew about making friends - Louise talks about her struggles making friends when she was younger.
Knowing your normal
- Everyone's 'normal' is different: autism is not a binary - Georgia writes about what normal means for different people and the myth that autism comes in two types.
Mental and physical health
- I am a girl living with autism - Bella shares her personal journey after receiving an autism diagnosis.
- How to change health services - following a previous successful project with the Whittington Hospital, our myVoice volunteers have written a guide on how to change health services to become more autism-friendly.
- Ways of coping with anxiety - Esther talks about her personal experience of anxiety as an autistic person.
- Mental illness and me - Kerrie shares her experience of mental health for World Mental Health Day 2017.
- Making the most of a visit to a psychiatrist - Dr Ian Davidson shares his tips for making the most from your visit to a psychiatrist as part of his work as autism champion for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Policy and campaigning
- Not One Size: Parliamentary debate on mental health and suicide in the autism community - Georgia visited Parliament observe a debate held in the House of Commons concerning autistic mental health.
Transition to adulthood
- Moving autism into adulthood - Jack shares some of the realities of being an autistic adult and the changes in support available, as autistic young adults move from education to employment or training.
Autism and employment
- My internship with Autism Exchange - Amy recounts her time as an intern on the Civil Service Autism Exchange programme.
- Ten things that make it hard for someone with autism to get employment - Alex shares his struggles with employment and the barriers he has faced with employment.
- Starting a new job when you’re on the spectrum - it can be intimidating starting a new job, even more so if you're autistic. This blog shares some tips for starting a new job role.
- To declare or not to declare, that is the question - an anonymous blogger shares their experience around disclosing/declaring being autistic in the workplace and the worries associated with declaring.