Stories The Part of Me You Can't Ignore Milo has been with Headliners Foyle for over two years now. In these two years, he opened time and time again about his relationship with autism and neurotypicals. He talked to us about his difficult experience at school and what growing up with “more friends among staff than among students” felt like. We never knew Milo as a shy, bullied person though. We only knew the flamboyant young man who won everyone’s heart with his honesty and kindness. When he joined us in Headliners, his situation had completely shifted: now quite the social butterfly, he had more friends than ever and everybody knew his name in Derry/Londonderry. Throughout the years, Milo’s relationship with his autism grew and transformed. Some days were good, some days were bad. During the pandemic, he talked to us about his desire to create a piece of media about his first-hand experience of autism, an experience made particularly difficult when the lockdown stopped him from seeing his friends. "Neurotypicals" he said "still struggle to understand autism, and sometimes the things they say are meant as compliments, but they are actually quite hurtful." "I try to advocate for autism because it is quite a stigmatised disorder. The only media representation most people will have seen is through the characters of Sheldon Cooper, the Good Doctor and Rain Man, but autism is a spectrum, and every person on this spectrum will be different, with different needs." On a bright summer’s day, we took a walk in the park and turned the recorder on. And because the weather was as gentle as what Milo had to say, we came back with cameras to give his message some pastel colours. A short film brought to you by the young people of Headliners Foyle Bureau: Milo Quigley, Josh McGeoghan and Oscar Jennings. Thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for their ongoing support in making these projects come to completion.