The Other Side: Living With Asperger Syndrome - Part Seven
Chapter Thirty Eight - All Grown Up
So after a bit of a panic at not having a portfolio, and no real qualifications that would mean anything to the photography department at University, I put this together (this is just a few pages as an example):
And here is the personal statement that I wrote:
"From a young age I have always predominantly admired two things; the great outdoors and the written word. My Dad used to take me to all kinds of interesting places to go hiking and I can always remember noticing how the light fell on different surfaces, or how the sky contrasted with the season or weather according to the trees: my favourite being a stormy day in the height of summer with luscious green leaves against an eerily dark sky. The rest of my childhood was spent drawing, writing stories and reading.
As secondary school approached and raced by me, I knew I wanted to do something creative ‘when I grew up’ so I put all of my energy into Art, English and IT lessons. My efforts were recognised by my school and I was elected as a ‘Gifted and Talented’ student for Art, English, IT, Science and Mathematics; I also attended a workshop through this programme and was praised for ‘thinking outside of the box’.
Unfortunately, some time after this I was targeted by a number of students and bullied quite extensively for a long period of time, resulting in a change of school. However, my fresh start was never successful due to continual bullying and a nervous breakdown which consequently meant I left education for a while in order to recover. During this time I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and dyspraxia, with a later assessment confirming Attention Deficit Disorder, Scotopic Sensitivity and significant symptoms of anxiety.
However, I did and always have seen the importance of education and so I rejoined one of my previous schools two years out of age range in order to complete my GCSE’s. I took Art, IT and Drama (alongside the mandatory English, Science, Maths etc). I was always aware of my social dysfunction and lack of confidence, but despite this I always enrolled in various drama clubs to try and overcome this, which has impacted me positively.
Through my teenage years my symptoms have worsened and one thing in particular meant that I was unable to complete my GCSE’s. The uniform caused me great discomfort due to various sensitivity and anxiety issues and the school were unable to accommodate my needs but they were able to let me complete two GCSE’s outside of school. I didn’t have the necessary tutoring but despite this I still obtained a B in English and a C in Maths. These qualifications allowed me to get a place in a Post 16 Centre doing 2 A Levels; Law and Psychology.
The reason I am applying for the Access Course for Art, Design and Photography is because I have no creative education and therefore cannot take any Art based subject at A Level or higher; so as interesting as my Law and Psychology courses are, I don’t feel comfortable with them and wish to spend my time doing a course that could hopefully lead me onto a Photography degree.
Photography to me is a wordless diary, a numberless clock. It is something which has the power to freeze an exact moment in time and keep it forever in a way that words would fail to do so. A single photograph can tell you how someone is feeling, when that person cannot. But in other circumstances, a photograph is a blank canvas for our minds to fill in and try to decipher. I do not keep a diary, but I do remember my life through the photographs I take. I love to experiment with different styles but my heart lies with landscapes and reflections. I like to take photographs from unusual angles to give a different perspective of the world, because that’s how I see the world through my Asperger Syndrome."
And here are the references I was able to get from my old school (which I find to be mildly offensive, to be honest):