Interview with Digby

Digby is a 10-year-old boy who contacted Amaze earlier this year, wanting to use his experiences to make other people who are either autistic, have ADHD, or feel anxious feel good about life and themselves.  

While he may be a few years off becoming an autism advisor, we invited Digby and his mother Antoinette to visit Amaze and we learned a lot about him, including that he has a love of writing. Digby offered to contribute to our newsletter and we are thrilled with what he wrote.  

Thank you to Digby and Antoinette for taking the time to visit us and contribute to the Autism Connect newsletter. 

Can you tell us a few things about yourself? What are some things that you are interested in?  

I live in Melbourne and have my entire life, I have never moved and hope I never have to. I like life here and my loving parents make it even better. 

I love my rabbit named Po. No reason, just: he exists, so I love. Dogs are beautiful and cute and they love you and they are more loyal than cats. They can be energetic or quiet and they are the best friends. I know all the local dogs and pat them all on the way to school and at the local park and café. 

I have a YouTube channel I mostly work on with my friend, we only really post Roblox videos and memes (Editor’s note:  Roblox is an online community/app where people can create, share and play games and 3D experiences with each other) and also little wholesome Po vids. 

I have a very diverse taste in music, from electro to classical to weird Russian techno. I also enjoy doing Cossack dancing. 

When you’re feeling anxious, what helps make you feel better?   

When I am feeling anxious it helps me to think that it’s just fear, that I don’t need to be afraid of it, that it’s just my brain being a nuisance. Talking to my mother helps because she has been through this and is better than me at managing it. Or just a good distraction can temporarily get rid of anxiety. Knowing that it will go away at one point helps, though not much. Exercise helps to reset my body, controlled breathing also helps a lot. 

When you contacted Autism Connect, you said you wanted to help people who are autistic feel good. What would you say to someone who is autistic who might be feeling sad or worried to feel better?  

I could tell them the good sides of autism, provide soothing words and support for anxiety. Maybe using the ones that I use myself. Like how it’s just fear, how it will go away, they have beaten it before and they will do it again.  

For people who are sad I can tell them that life isn’t just darkness, there is light at the end of the tunnel, people are out there who can help. Like the Autism Connect helpline. 

I would try to study their personality to get to know them and understand the traits they have, so I could tell them the good side of those traits.  

For example, for me, I can’t focus that well, I am pretty weird when I am not masking and I can be awkward socially. But I am a good writer, I love to dance, I am actually quite social and have good friends, I am energetic and I have lots of ideas. 

The corporation you created at school sounds like a great way for friends to get together. Can you explain to someone who doesn’t know what it is, and why you created it?  

The reason I created the Da Bois Corporation (girls are welcome too!) was that I was feeling bad at school, angry and sad.  

I created the corporation to prevent others from feeling those feelings by making things like wholesome posters to cheer people up, comedy books, survival guides and hopefully one day anti – sad rules that the school must follow. I want to point out the good side of things because seeing the positives is the key to happiness. 

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