Name: André Nice
ND Type/s: Autism, ADHD
What do you do: Student
Where do you live: London
When was your diagnosis and do you know how/why it came about?
When I was 4. It came about because my mother recognised my autistic traits early on and for a while thought I was deaf, it took a lot of effort to get a diagnosis but in the end, I was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD.
How do you stay active? And what do you do to relax?
I play golf occasionally and walk. I relax by doing something creative like writing or crafts, cooking as well.
Do you have a favourite word or phrase?
Brumhilda, Paidagogos, intransigent.
Have you read, watched or listened to anything good recently (books, films, tv, radio or podcasts)? Maybe something that has helped you or changed your views/attitude?
I think this is a bit of a vague question, but I read a book by Robert Graves called Count Belisarius that was good. There hasn’t been anything attitude-changing lately.
Which 5 songs or albums would you want to have with you on a desert island?
A Fever you can’t sweat out- Panic! at the disco
Hatful of Hollow- The Smiths
From Under the Cork Tree- Fallout Boy
Songs about Jane- Maroon 5
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?
Don’t punch walls, from my grandmother.
What would you like to do when you leave school/college/university? Have you had any work experience so far and how has that gone?
No work experience. Probably something meaningful like an MP.
In what ways has your neurodiversity affected you the most?
Human interaction, creativity, addictive personality, mental health, emotional deregulation, hyper-obsessions.
Creativity and thinking differently are often credited to neurodiversity. Would you say that is true? And if yes, could you give an example?
Yes. I’ve written books and plays, I’m extremely creative in most ways.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus, what do you do to get back on track? Do you have any hacks, tips or do you use any apps to keep you on track during the day?
I have no hacks, it’s a huge problem of mine. I usually do it at the last second with fear as my motivator.
Are you open about your neurodiversity, or do you try to conceal it?
I am open about it, but I don’t bring it up, I find it offensive when someone says, ‘oh I had no idea you were autistic’. It seems to imply that they assume autism should be more noticeable and that I’m somehow ‘one of the good cases’.
How does your neurodiversity affect new relationships? This can be professionally, socially or romantically.
Mixed. Professionally it is usually an advantage as I’m direct, but it can also lead to confIicts because I forget deadlines and am occasionally rude without wanting to be. Same is true for socialising, I’m very nervous with new people so my list of friends is limited. Romantically it’s mixed, it makes me very compassionate and direct with my feelings but can also mean I don’t take romantic hints and sometimes offend people. I’m also not good at interacting with people so something like chatting someone up is a nightmare.
What makes you happy?
Writing, socialising with people I know, beauty, being alone.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Writing a novel, passing my GCSEs, having predicted grades good enough to apply to Oxford University
Do you have a Positive ND message to the world? Imagine you have a £5 million advertising campaign to spend on billboards all over the world, what would you say?
It’s not your fault that you’re ND, it’s their fault that society doesn’t accommodate you.