May 10, 2019
After his dreams of joining the army were crushed due to a diagnosis of Autism, Kalten didn’t know where to turn. But thanks to help from Disability Information Bureau, Kalten’s life is looking up.
Earlier in the year, Kalten was brave enough to share his journey at our Participant Celebration Event. This is his story.
I have something called Asperger’s syndrome. If anyone doesn’t know what that it, it’s an impairment of the brain where you can’t socially comprehend things.
Now I don’t have a speech, I’m completely winging this, but today I would just like to share a few things on how the New Leaf programme’s helped me. Through years of social rejection and from having Asperger’s Syndrome, there’s been many circumstances in life which have brought me down to a point of depression and anxiety and never feeling like I have sense of belonging.
Now, my main reason for depression started when I was in my early 20’s. Now, at the time, I was applying for the army. My dream was to serve for six years in REME, gain some insight into how to build countries that had worn down through war. It was heart-breaking when I found out they’d received a doctor’s note, and Asperger’s was the main reason for my rejection. I felt like my dreams were being crushed, and for years I just felt dissuaded with life, just everything that’s happened.
As times gone on, I’ve volunteered, and it’s just brought my confidence up. If it wasn’t for the New Leaf group, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Through the Disability Information Bureau, I gained an AET qualification which is geared towards teaching adults, I’ve gained mentor support, met people from all walks of life, I’ve gained qualifications in computers and things like that, and as of next week, I actually get into work full time as a support worker.
My long-term goal one day is to maybe offer support and guidance to other people in the autistic community who feel like they don’t really have a voice, to signpost them to services, such as New Leaf and the Disability Information Bureau, and other places if I can, but that’s my long-term goal. It’s been an absolute treasure being here today. As I said I’ve winged it, it’s the first speech I’ve done in my life, so, thank you.
New Leaf if here to help people who feel like they have no hope of getting into work, to do just that. If your story sounds like Kalten’s why not get in touch?
T: 01925 452131
New Leaf is part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund.