I think if I could be anything, I’d be in the entertainment industry SOMEHOW. I’d like to be a good writer and author, so I do write a good deal of stuff, but if that was my day job, I’d absolutely hate it.
I quite like performing too, so acting wouldn’t be too bad, but I don’t know I’d like being like, Hollywood famous either, so I don’t know. Really, just sort of creatively entertaining somehow. Brighten up the lives of people even if I don’t know them.
When people find out you have Autism, what do you wish they would say?
I actually love the reactions I get to telling people I’m autistic, but that’s because I find it really funny the way people react to learning that someone’s different from the norm. If you learn to see the humour in people’s ignorance and well-meaning word fumbles, life gets a lot easier and a lot more fun.
Is there any advice you would like to tell people that aren’t on the spectrum?
To people not on the spectrum, just a bit of patience can go a fair way. Most of us aren’t acting like idiots on purpose. We just don’t understand why we’re supposed to do things in an inefficient manner to appease the public. Like, it’s so much easier to say “I gotta take a crap” than it is to say “Excuse me a moment, I’m off to the bathroom. Don’t wait up for me”.
What is something you wish people knew more about from being on the Autism spectrum?
I wish people understood that it’s not a disability, in the same way, that other… I don’t know what the classification is now, but it’s not like we have Down’s Syndrome or something. People get worried about their kids having autism and refuse to accept it sometimes. It’s that kind of attitude that fuels the fear-mongering that leads people to stop vaccinating their kids
How old were you when you were diagnosed? Do you remember?
I THINK I was like, 7 maybe when I was diagnosed. Less than 10 is about all I’m sure of. I vaguely remember the building I went to for the diagnosis, and kind of remember the room I was in, but that’s about it.
I also made a few smart-assed remarks to Mum about the whole thing that she still has a laugh about sometimes.
What was life like before the diagnosis, compared to after the diagnosis?
I don’t really remember much about life before being diagnosed as it was so early, but I do know that there were a lot less visits to professionals. Paediatricians and psychologists and the like. None of that prior to diagnosis.
How have games helped you through your life? Did you find they helped or offered an escape?
Its a pretty common thing that you’ll have heard over and over again, but I find games help with escape, yes. If I’m feeling really anxious, I can throw a game in and go into a sort of zen mode where the world around me ceases to be and I can just have an empty mind and not worry about whatever’s going on. Actually, I got so zen the other day that I bruised my thumb playing Dishonored the other day. Didn’t even notice until I put the game down and noticed my thumb was throbbing XD
What kind of games do you enjoy? Do you feel you excel in certain games or situations more because of your diagnosis?
I’m partial to well built FPS games like Halo. Also play a decent whack of Overwatch, as well as a few others. That, and anything with new or interesting mechanics. I’m a bit of a hipster when it comes to games, really. In my top five list are two games that nobody seems to have heard of, despite their large communities (Sunless Sea and Cultist Simulator. Both written by the aforementioned Alexis Kennedy. Everybody should throw their money at him).
I think the diagnosis helps with the more twitchy, reflex and skill-based games. Autistic people tend to be better at being hyper-focused on something, which makes that zen state easier to get into. When you stop thinking about the things you’re doing and act on reflex and instinct, you tend to succeed a lot more. Or at least, I do anyway.
Zou is such a passionate and genuine person, who we are so lucky to be able to interview!
We will be keeping up with him and the progress of his short film, hopefully being able to share it with you all. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us here at WomANZ.
Specials thanks to the following people for making this possible:
Thank you to Mivaro for proof-reading and editing and for Sunny for taking the time to interview and write this.
An extra special Thank You Zou for sharing your story with our team.