“My name is Meghan.
We didn’t find out that I had autism until I was 18 years old. My parents always suspected that there was something different about me. I wasn’t social with kids my own age, I had an obsession with science (particularly astronomy), was very uncomfortable around lots of people, and loud noises easily overwhelmed me. I grew up thinking that I was a freak because none of the kids liked me. I had a difficult time socializing properly, and I had absolutely no friends. The only people who ever showed up to my birthday parties were family members.
I was bullied my entire life. Kids told me that I was weird, a freak, that I deserved to die, etc. When I was 12 I attempted suicide because I was so distressed over the bullying. I continued to wonder why I didn’t fit in no matter what I tried. I would study the popular kids and try to learn how to act like them, but it would never work. This continued through high school. During my senior year, my parents and I found out that I had a form of high functioning autism. That changed everything. I was resistant to the diagnosis at first, because I was hoping that my issues were just a phase I was going through, but the diagnosis meant that I would live with these struggles for my entire life.
I am now a junior in college studying forensic science. I have managed to accept my diagnosis and have been able to make some amazing friends who don’t care that I have autism. I am on track to achieve my dream of being a scientist. My autism does not keep me from being intelligent or pursuing a career in science. In fact, it makes my brain better equipped for handling scientific thought.
If I could tell young kids anything, it would be that autism can’t stop you from achieving your dreams. It only makes you more special and passionate about your dream. Keep on dreaming and working hard and you will achieve!”
If you want to read more stories of hope from people with autism click here: The autism site – stories of hope
When and where were you born?
I was born in Birmingham, UK, in the 60s. My father was an engineer and my mother was an office worker. My maternal grandmother loved to bake cakes. I use some of her recipes.
What did you eat during your childhood?
Meat and two vegetables, Marmite sandwiches… Then I discovered foreign food at Italian and Chinese restaurants.
Are you a Muslim?
I do not come from a religious family. In 2008, after personal events, I converted to Islam. I always use halal products in my cooking. I use no pork, pork products or alcohol. I find halal substitutes for haram products in recipes.
Why don’t you specialize in one particular cuisine?
My professional life has taken me to many parts of the world, I have experienced many cultures and cuisines. This is why I don’t rectrict myself to one particular style of cooking.
What is your philosophy on cooking?
I believe that anyone can cook good food. Cooking should be fun and you should experiment with ingredients. Some of the best things you can cook are really easy, very tasty, and cheaper than ready-made food.
If you’re interested read the full version here :
You will find many recipes on her website.