To celebrate International Women's Day, here's a poem by Hermione Cameron, a young autistic woman and poet. 

 

My Big Yellow Self-Storage Unit Brain

I am a hoarder
of random facts, useless names
I collect memories, keep them inside my brain
like a run-down self-storage unit 
the lockers graffiti’d with childish doodles, 
of deformed hearts, fish with puffy lips
scribbles from primary school days

I am a hoarder
of teenage angst, terrible hair, home-cut fringes
I could never quite bring myself to throw away
those lines of awful, angsty poetry
confessed on scrunched up balls of paper,
mediocre grades

I am a hoarder
of Things I Should Not Know
like celebrities’ middle names, their exact ethnic background, 
I collect facts, scraps from sections of their Wikipedia pages,
let them litter the corners of my storage unit brain   

I am a hoarder, not a creep
I am a keeper of secrets
I was never supposed to keep

I am a hoarder, not a stalker
Yes, I know your friend’s friend’s Facebook name,
your mother’s maiden name

I cannot help myself, I am just a hoarder
I cannot give these things away
In a way I wish my brain was more like
a Big Yellow Self Storage unit
with all my thoughts contained
in different sections
I wish I didn’t have to keep these thoughts
I wish I could throw them away

But then I think, would I miss these thoughts
If forced to throw them away?

 

Hermione is currently living in London and works at the National Autistic Society as the Content Team Assistant. She has been involved with creating and editing content for Asperger United Online and Your Autism Magazine. Hermione enjoys writing both prose and poetry, and uses writing to explore difficult topics, often in a satirical manner. Her debut poetry collection, 'Recipe for Being a Woman' was published in October by Ampersand, a small indenpendent company based in North London. The poems featured tackle a range of issues, including femininity, mental health, technology, and the general confusion of day to day life.

 

New Women and Girls online training

We are launching a new online module to support clinicians with the challenges of diagnosing autism in women and girls. The training is designed for professionals, but autistic women, their families and others will find the content helpful in understanding the differences autistic women may experience. Developed with autistic women and leading clinicians the content is interactive and features exercises, reflective activities and short film clips. The module has been funded by the Pears Foundation, which means we are able to offer it free for the first year. Find out more and register your interest to be the first to know when it launches in March 2018.

Register your interest