Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

A Shining Light on the Spectrum

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

A Shining Light on the Spectrum

Article excerpt

Byline: HAMISH BROOME Hamish.Broome@northernstar.com.au

MAYBE because he's such an intelligent and engaging young man, people get surprised when Curtis Harrison tells them is autistic.

"I'm not very good at reading social cues unless I've known the person for a long time," he said of his relatively mild condition, joking that he has to be "on his game".

"My parents found out when I was six but they decided not to tell me until I was 12."

"I didn't really understand it that well then; it wasn't really until I got well into high school that I realised how it affected me in some ways."

Curtis, 21, was recently sponsored by Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) to join 23 other young people with autism aged 18-30 to attend the first Future Leaders Program, at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference 2013 (APAC) in Adelaide.

"Young Australians with autism have enormous potential and yet so often do not have the opportunity to have a say about their lives, despite having the ability and desire to do so," project manager Judy Brewer said. …

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