Adam Souter has boosted his sociability, confidence and ability to navigate life with his condition and now, as a thank you to Rochdale Borough Libraries, has donated copies of his anthology, Eidetic Emotions,
in the hope that others with autism may also gain hope, through reading about his experiences and emotions.
Autistic poet Adam Souter with Rochdale Borough Council's leader Councillor Colin Lambert
He also co-hosts ‘All Across the Arts’, a Crescent Community Radio show and even performs his work in local venues, including at last year’s inaugural Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival at Rochdale Central Library.
Science fiction and fantasy fan Adam, who even as a child would easily read 12 books a week due to his photographic memory, said: It was very difficult growing up as autism wasn’t as widely recognised as it is now. I was initially misdiagnosed as having ADHD because I became bored very easily and I didn’t have an easy ride at school as I was bullied. Writing is an outflow for my emotions as autistic people hold our feelings in and don’t know how to express ourselves. It’s still hard when I’m around a lot of people. I have managed to help myself over the years by developing a lot of self-control. The library has helped me so much and hopefully my book can now help other people. You are never alone and there’re always people who you can speak to.
Adam was first encouraged to write by his family, especially his beloved grandmother who passed away in 2009. Adam has also been helped on his journey by Ray Stearn, Rochdale Borough Libraries’ Young Person's Library Worker, and Norman Warwick, of Just Poets, who Adam was referred to by a job centre worker three years ago after learning about Adam’s love for creative writing.
Mr Warwick said: Adam has made such massive strides and is a calmer person than the one I first met. At first Adam found it very difficult as there were 25 people in a small room at Touchstones Creative Writing Group, but now he’s a regular member of the group who stands up to read. The fact Rochdale Borough Libraries is prepared to give Adam a platform is fantastic.
Adam has just started working as a security guard and in the future hopes to pursue further education and even turn his hand to writing science fiction for children.
Eidetic Emotions can be found at Rochdale Borough Libraries, or is available to download for Kindle.
More of Adam’s poetry can be read at www.writerscafe.org/silfrstjrana
For further information on Rochdale Borough Libraries visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/libraries
Adam Souter has given permission for the poem below to be published - silfrstjrana is his pen name
A Poem by silfrstjrana struggling with autism
Autism: A Riddle Unto Me
Understanding people is a riddle to me
Unable to trust, when all is mystery
All that I see
Gets saved in my hard drive memory
Ever uneasy at talking to more than a group of three
My home away from home is the library
OPAC, loyal friend
Always ready to help me
Start reading a book in where I can drift away
Rest of world turns hazy
Already distant memory
When many people surround me, panic fills me
Nerves set afire all over my body
My heart races
Frantic battling insanic
Bells ring in my ears,
Chiming out discordant rhapsody
Outside I may not show pain
When others label me insane
But I stand strong, coping with Autism
Forging my way ahead with optimism
Those with Autism
Have no fear
Being flawed in mind doesn’t make you weak
Confide in someone willing to hear
Fight through it
Make it your own
And never forget, you are not alone