Happy new same old?

Stand up from the crowdI know a man on the spectrum who takes a week’s holiday, each year, and spends a couple of months beforehand and about a week afterwards being anxious and very unsettled about the change in his routine. So, after having it pointed out to me how I might find the stress of Christmas difficult to cope with, I recognised that, indeed, I do and always have done.  I’m not alone in that. Now we have a new year to contend with.

We have a new month, every month but that slips by as quietly as the time does but the focus on January and the traditionally inclement weather can give it an air of foreboding.  It was helpful to realise that my stress was more to do with the change in behaviour of the world around me than in myself. Look at Black Friday as a taste of what was to come – and there was I merrily pootling along through all the neurotic neurotypicals, feeling glad to be giving it a miss.

If I’m ever to be found playing tug-of-war for a still expensive bit of end of line stock, then by all means question my behaviour. It should be questioned. But it’s ‘what people do’ so it will pass by the composure register. Continue reading

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Independence

My German barber, Herr Kutz, has shown real interest in the range of developmental disorders within the autistic spectrum, since my diagnosis.  Their level of severity is as variable, too. ‘They are recognisable, though’, he concluded, ‘within definable boundaries unlike the myriad of differences among everyone else outside of the spectrum.’ Wow, he speaks my language.

And so, the conversation moved to how variable is the level of independence shown by individuals within and without the spectrum.  ‘A great deal of it is not just one’s ability to be independent but one’s desire to be independent – then there’s the definition of what counts for independence’ He said.  A moot point here in Scotland, as the Independence Referendum approaches rapidly. Continue reading