Or good Morning, good Afternoon, good whatever-the-time-it-is-where-you-are!

Welcome to my den of musings, anecdotes, (hopefully) useful advice and general home of Autistic wonder… Or ‘blog’, as most people call it.

Here you will find me, raw and honest. At some points I’ll be pouring my heart out over my wife and children, at others I’ll be cathartically going through my life chucking out all the rubbish of unintentional abuse that was my childhood.  There will be explanations of terms from my point of view and I may give names to things that you knew existed, but didn’t know had a name. There might be the odd review; there’ll definitely be responses to current science and news articles. And there will be lots of ranting probably… I’m hoping there’ll also be some useful information for other Autistics, Professionals, Parents, Allies and basically anyone who wants to read my words.

Before you go any further than this blog post I have a warning.

And it’s not this photo of me.  Although you should need a warning for it (I’m the one on the left by the way, but feel free to just look at the one on the right, she’s far more easy on the eye):

I am an Autism Self-Advocate.  This means, I speak for myself.  I don’t allow people to make decisions for me, or speak for me.  You will see if you go through my writing that this will be a strong and recurrent theme.  Anyone that denies my voice or any other Autistic voice will get an earful from me.  Don’t get me wrong, I will listen to your opinion but reserve the right to dismiss it.  Nobody and I mean nobody, knows what I have gone through or am going through.  Nobody but me understands how being Autistic shapes my worldview or how I navigate and interact with the world.  Nobody but me can tell you what I need to support me, help me or push me.  People can make suggestions, only I can tell you if they work.

I reserve the right to be me.  I’ve spent my whole life perfecting masking to the point where nobody can look at me and say I’m Autistic (the opposite in fact, but that’s a whole other blog).  It’s only in the last few years that I’ve finally come to peace with myself and who I am and to allow myself to be Autistic in public.  If you ever meet me, what you see is what you get. If you don’t like that?  Well, I’m not afraid to say that I don’t care because it’s your problem and not mine.

I feel like I’ve been telling you off, Dear Reader and that’s not the case at all.  I just don’t want you to be here under the impression that it’s all butterflies, rainbows, jigsaw pieces and socially acceptable wotnots… Coz it ain’t!

Sometimes (often) I will mention Neurotypicals (NTs), I appreciate that when I do, it may come across as a hugely sweeping generalisation. Be aware that if you’re reading this blog and are NT, I’m either a)not talking about you or b)talking about you but you’re here and learning and trying to see things from an Neurodiverse point of view, so yaaaay you!

Just so you know, anything found in this blog is my opinion (unless it’s a guest blog, in which case it has been given my approval).  I do not personally speak on behalf of all Autistics, nor am I a mouthpiece for the Autistic Community, I represent myself and echo the voices of the majority of the Autistic and Neurodiverse Communities and where I don’t do that, I will make that clear. I am fully aware and accept that my opinion can be wrong. I may say things that some might deem controversial, or are an affront to your morals or ethical code.  If there’s something you disagree with, or think needs added to, or changed, please let me know.  If you don’t like my opinion and don’t want to talk about it civilly, make sure you remain quite happily sitting in your Echo Chamber and leave me in mine.

Final warning (this really is the last one):  Sometimes I swear.  Sometimes I swear a lot. And I mean ALOT.  Don’t let that put you off, I generally refrain from it, but if I do so verbosely, it’s usually because I’m so passionate and hyper-focused (another blog), that I have to just get it all out.

I hope you enjoy reading and bon voyage!

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