Luis John, 22, has made a film about having Asperger’s Syndrome to raise awareness and help others understand how he sees the world.
Luis, who lives in Catford, says he wants the film to show that despite having the condition – which causes difficulties with social interaction and nonverbal communication – he can still achieve anything he sets his mind to.
The project was organised with the help of Fixers – the charity that gives young people a voice – and L&Q housing association – which manages more than 9,500 homes in Lewisham and funded the project through the L&Q Foundation.
Shot from his perspective and following a day in his life, the film shows Luis’ actions – from getting up and eating breakfast – to having a flying lesson at EFG Flying School in Biggin Hill.
Louis says: ‘People can’t tell how different the world is to me, simply by looking at me. That’s why I wanted them to see the world through my eyes in the film.
‘I want people to understand me because a lot of people might make assumptions.’
Luis – who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of one – is studying music at Croydon College and also works as a baggage handler at Gatwick Airport.
He says: ‘It can be harder for me to read social situations. I can’t always rely on people’s facial expressions or tone of voice to figure out what they mean.
‘I struggle with reading, writing and explaining myself at times.
‘I can misunderstand jokes and struggle to keep up with conversations, but it doesn’t stop me from having an active social life.’
Luis, who plans to share the film on social media, wants to show that the condition doesn’t have to be a barrier to achieving goals.
He dreams of becoming a professional pilot.
He says: ‘I’ve flown before at Rochester Airfield and I have two flying certificates.
‘I am dedicated, ambitious and creative. Having Asperger’s hasn’t stopped me from achieving my goals and I’ve faced every challenge I’ve had head on.’
Fixers work with young people aged 16-25 across the UK by providing them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.
The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.
For more information or to make a donation to fund more Fixer projects, visit www.fixers.org.uk