Monday, 16 January 2017

Autism

At one point doctors thought I was autistic, it hasn't been ruled out but now it seems unlikely. Traumatic Brain Injury has many similar symptoms and this is now the most likely cause of my 'weird'. The thing with autism is it's genetic so it would mean someone in my family had it before me. This is actually possible. My mother had some 'eccentric' ways. She told me quite openly that as a baby I was so happy she used to pinch me to make me cry, just so she could nurse and soothe me. Yeah, pretty bloody weird.

Her father, my grandfather spent his last years in the sanitorium but it was generally attributed to him being a POW during WWII. There are therefore certain peculiarities that might indicate a genetic anomaly but nothing tangible. The health service failed me because my TBI occurred at 13 years old and kids of my time were seen and not heard, nor were we allowed to be weak or complain. When I left school I stopped going to see specialists who did nothing. They were more concerned with my impaired hearing than my behavioural problems.

Today I might be diagnosed as having ADHD. Asperger's, or indeed even mild autism, we will never know. I slipped through the net simply because I stood alone and refused to accept I was damaged. All my friends called me crazy and I thought they were joking. I knew I was 'eccentric' and my thought process was different to theirs but I didn't feel crazy. For the past year I've tried to address the issue but I hit a brick wall. I tried to do things properly and maybe alleviate the fact I haven't slept properly for decades, the headaches, the nightmares, etc. The government don't care, local councils break the law persecuting vulnerable people, and the health service is stretched to its limits.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big boy, I can look after myself and you can poke your sympathy where the sun don't shine. However I have been wronged by these people, even to the point where they flouted the law. I even have proof but it is difficult taking on government departments.

I'm rambling again, this isn't about me this is about autism. When doctors first suggested I fall within the autism spectrum I began to look into it. I was completely ignorant about it. My idea of autism was from Rainman and Mercury Rising, but these movies did little to indicate how an autistic person thought or felt. I was left with the impression they were damaged individuals with little coherent thought - and some extraordinary abilities. As I researched it and drew comparisons with my own condition I began to understand, and it made me wonder if others were as ignorant as me.

I perceive autism as a kind of protective shell and inside is a person with feelings and emotions just the same as anyone else. Because they couldn't communicate properly didn't mean they couldn't think. The clip below perhaps should be the alma mater of autism. A young kid, with enough nous to understand, dream and desire to be 'fixed' perhaps? His father took him to see his favourite band Coldplay and when his favourite song 'Fix You' came on, the emotion proved too much. I cannot watch the clip without welling up and I feel no shame in that. If it doesn't move you, there is something seriously wrong with you.


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