My Autism Journey by Sophie Grace Jackson Slack

Written by Guest Writer

February 19, 2022

Aged 3 in 1997, I was diagnosed with severe autism, I was a nightmare, non verbal, scream, shout, cry you name it, I did it. People wouldn’t understand my behaviour, they thought I was naughty when in fact I was frustrated with not being able to express myself. 

I had speech and language therapy as soon as I was diagnosed with autism, I learnt to talk by looking at pictures, reading books. Aged 6, I began to talk, I was able to express how I was feeling. English has always been a strong point of mine, I surpassed reading levels with flying colours, my spelling would be outstanding. 

Maths was always a tricky subject for me when I was younger, I wasn’t even on the radar when I took the SATS exams aged 11, but one day, something clicked when I was 12. This teacher made it seem so easy, before I knew it, I was steaming ahead, people were surprised. 

When I was 13, I started to make myself sick 5 mornings a week before going to school, I had no issue doing the work, it was the toxic atmosphere, forced to be friends with a particular girl when I didn’t want to be, it was like lying to myself. In May 2009 aged 15, I made a decision, I left school. It was either that or commit suicide. 

Home education, absolutely loved it, no distractions. Achieved 4 C’s Maths, English, ICT and Science.
Aged 16 I volunteered for Oxfam, I worked at the back sorting donations. It took me 6 years to build up the confidence to go out onto the shop floor to work the till. Unfortunately the shop closed down in July 2019. Oxfam helped me build up the confidence to walk home on my own as I was never ever able to before.

When I was 24, I experienced a low mood once again, crying in the street, screaming, shouting, wanting to end my life. I started antidepressants on my 25th Birthday, I saw therapists, doctors to get to the root of the problem (my low mood was caused by my estranged brother and his girlfriend). 
Now I’m 28 years old, still on antidepressants, recently started to go out on my own, I even been on a bus on my own a few times which is an achievement in itself. Still a way to go as autism is a developmental disorder but I would never ever change who I am. 

I have so many hobbies:
Scrap-booking, listening to music, reading, writing, gardening, jigsaw puzzles, travelling around the United Kingdom, collecting bears and dolls, shopping, I could go on and on. 
My dreams and aspirations for the future… Where do I start? 
If someone told me I would find love on Twitter, I wouldn’t have believed them. My boyfriend is amazing, he brings out a confidence in me I never knew existed, we’ve been communicating for 7 months. I hope to become a mother one day, someone told me many years ago I would have twin girls, I had tarot readings this year that apparently I’ll become pregnant during 2022! I have one name picked out which I absolutely love, I won’t reveal but it’s unusual. I’m hoping to be married one day too.
With what I’ve been through over the years, I reckon I deserve this happiness, it will be a big accomplishment if it were to happen, to show those who are skeptical that even though I’m autistic that doesn’t stop me from achieving my dreams. We can do whatever we set our minds to just like everyone else… 

This is me, Sophie Grace.


  1. Bev Lawson

    Sophie you are truly amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey. You can achieve anything you want to and I wish you every happiness for the future. My son is autistic and rarely leaves his room, he doesn’t cope well academically, but he’s super bright. Your story reassured me that he’ll find his own way when he’s ready. Thank you.

    • Erika Petrie

      Brilliant comment Bev and so very true. Thank you for your support of Sophie’s story! Sophie, you are incredibly resilient and resourceful…I wish you all the very best for the future!

    • Sophie Grace Jackson Slack

      Awwww, that means a lot. Thank you so much. I hope your son will lead a happy life which he will when he’s ready.

      • Erika Petrie

        Bless you Sophie…you deserve every blessing!


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