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My name is Luke Fiddes, I am a 27 year old musician, author and befriender who lives with Aspergers syndrome and I am very proud to say that I am autistic.

My journey began at the time I needed music most. I was struggling emotionally with life and had no hobbies, friendships or self-confidence. I hated who I was and wished so much that I wasn't me. Then my grandad gave me his old organ and I instantly felt a connection with the sound and feel of the keys. From there on, I entered a world I didn't know existed and I completely lost myself in it. It was a magical time!

Music has helped me to completely change my life and perspective on who I am and what I am meant for. I always mention three major turning points:

1. Music helped give me the self-confidence to perform as myself with the piano at total ease, nothing has ever felt so natural and so right.

2. It has given me the social tools and connections to people my own age and has given me real friendships, which I have never had before.

3. It has helped me overcome the obstacles I once faced with my Autism during school and has brought out all the positive aspects of the condition. I use my condition to its fullest potential every day as a musician and through music, my autism has been my saving grace.

At the moment I play piano, ukulele, guitar and sing at a lot of different care, residential and nursing homes across Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. I really enjoy connecting with people through music, sharing memories and seeing people come alive to the songs they used to sing during the happiest moments of their lives. I have also written a book called 'My Journey In Music' about my story of the power of Music and Autism but it’s also a book that shows people how they can use music in their day to day lives to enhance their emotional wellbeing and self-confidence. I am looking to work in a range of settings including schools, day centres and special need groups to promote the use of music, as we know music used in the right way will change lives for the better.

‘My Journey in Music’ is aimed for children aged 11 and above. I want to write a small series of stories about children who all have their own individual obstacles to overcome and how music can not only smash these barriers but completely open up their worlds by bringing them all together. The books will be aimed at younger children in junior schools, they’ll read the series of short stories first and learn about how music has helped people with different challenges. They’ll move onto ‘My Journey in Music when they get to secondary school, where they can use music in their own lives. I feel these mini stories will be a fun starting point to introduce young children into the amazing world of music.

The most important thing in life is to be happy in who you are. That means finding what you are meant to do and what you enjoy. Try different things, sports, music, art, dancing, technology, anything that grabs your interest and once you find that one thing that you can fully depend on, be yourself and don't let go of it.

I will be recording a song about the book in the near future which I am really excited about so if you are interested in Autism and music then listen out for a song called ‘Little Boy'. I am always keen to meet people who are interested in Music and Autism so if you would like to get in touch about the book or me as a musician or anything else then please feel free to contact me on lukefiddes@hotmail.co.uk

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AskUs Nottinghamshire’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation

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