AN autistic teenager decided to write a diary as a coping mechanism instead of listening to music after his school banned the use of phones.

Now, 15-year-old Thomas Allington is publishing the diary to help other autistic people like him.

The Shillingford teen said his 80-entry self-published book, titled “Diary of an Autistic Teenager”, helped him feel happier as he was writing it in the same that way listening to music does.

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He listened to 197,000 minutes of rock music such as Queen and Led Zeppelin last year before he was no longer allowed to use his phone during breaktimes.

Oxford Mail: Front of the bookFront of the book

“I’m always listening to music,” said the Wallingford School pupil. “When my school stopped allowing phones at break time it really affected me.

“It was something I would spend all my spare time doing and it was a good coping mechanism. For me to not have music was rubbish and I was really bored - so I decided to just start writing.”

Thomas, who lives with his parents Kevin and Caroline and siblings Jacob, 19, Daniel, nine, and Willow, six, started writing one diary entry per day in February this year.

He would then type each one up as a blog to publish online before his mum suggested he published them in a book.

“My parents are always asking how my day was,” he said. “And one day I said, ‘Funny you should say that, I have it written down’ and I showed my mum and she said it was really funny and I should get it published – so I did.

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Oxford Mail: Thomas AllingtonThomas Allington

“The entries were mainly my thoughts and things like an invention idea that I had. I wrote whatever came to me.

“I found that since writing, I found myself significantly happier as I was always looking for interesting things to write and I was looking at the smaller things in life.

“I see how some people could find it funny because I do see the world differently to others.”

By May, Thomas had published the book through Amazon and had sold more than 100 copies.

Mr Allington added: “Two of our children are autistic and we can see what in this world makes them feel safe and for Thomas it is music.

“When the school decided phones weren’t allowed there was no thought as to what that means for people on the spectrum who were using them for help.

“The fact that Thomas refocused was fantastic and the joy we felt was amazing. It has been really good to see and it shows a lot of dedication.”

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Thomas now hopes to write a sequel after he has finished his GCSE exams.

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This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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