Our Ambassador Sophia Grech was recently invited to speak at Inservice Autisme, an international autism conference in Oostmalle, Belgium.

Sophia gave a keynote speech called Finding my Voice Through Singing, in which she spoke about her late diagnosis of autism and her career as a professional opera singer. As well as giving a performance, she told the audience of 300 delegates how music and singing had saved her as a young girl, giving her a focus in life. 

Sophia comments; “My social awareness and understanding of others was challenging and exhausting but my determination to succeed as a singer simply outweighed my daily struggles of being autistic. I can honestly say I found my voice through singing”.

Sophia talked through the aspects of her life that she finds challenging; from the stress of travelling and mixing with people to the difficulty of singing in so many foreign languages! She talked openly about her diagnosis and how it has changed her life; being able to understand the condition better and learn strategies to help her to cope with her daily struggles. 

She reflects though that “there is no magic cure and I still find some situations difficult because I spend my life faking normality in front of others, which is utterly exhausting.” 

“I am really glad I was diagnosed though. I am finally happy and comfortable with myself.”

We are incredibly proud of Sophia, raising awareness and understanding of autism on the international stage.

Autism Wessex is registered in England & Wales under charity number 1000792 at Charity Hub, Portfield School, Parley Lane, Christchurch, BH23 6BP. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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