Understanding Autism Course, delivered by Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust. My Personal Reflection Diary. Starting with a positive outcome in mind and My Personal Statement of Needs
Hello and welcome to this blog, a first blog post about my personal experience of being professionally diagnosed as a Highly Functioning Autistic. This post is also the introduction to my reflective learnings from a course I have recently attended called Understanding My Autism Diagnosis delivered by Psychologists within the Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust.
Its written informally. Straight from my thought process. And I apologise for any grammatical errors. But I felt it more important to explain from my authentic self than be written in proper grammar. In other words, it's message to you is more important to me.
I have included some personal history, tried to be very honest and candid, and simple, in revealing my history to help others, some relevant and irrelevant, but intended to help build a clearer picture.
This post (further along) includes a link to the NHS's description of what being Autistic means.
This post includes who I am, and a kind of Statement of Needs, where ideas came to mind on week 5, during our sessions, of how we might help ourselves.
(I am going to write a much shorter concise version of my needs, and get it laminated so I can pop it into my pocket to show people when I feel there may become a communication problem, and, hopefully, maybe, show it, before miscommunication happens. (Although, I'm not really sure it's going to be needed so much now. But I've written about this for information purposes.)
For instance, doctors surgery staff, hospital appointments, the dentist, my friends and family.
At the course we were also given very useful NHS cards to fill in from the psychology staff, with spaces to write specifics, and this could be very helpful, because then at least it doesn't look home-made. And in a crisis situation, say you are having a meltdown or struggling in a supermarket, or just suddenly can't cope with too much noise or too many people around or near you, having a card to show someone can be really helpful and informative for other people who may try and approach you, before they start to judge or reach out to you. Having the NHS logo printed on these little labels will also (hopefully) help people to take your situation seriously without labeling or ignoring you. There's an awful lot of ignorance regarding autisticly diagnosis people in later life. Perhaps that is because in their younger years they had never heard of it, and easily label it as an excuse for shoddy or different or awkward behaviour. But I an not saying everyone is like this. It needs mentioning though. This is what I believe. We are all different.
**So, I've managed for 55 years, why bother now? Well, yes, that is true. But receiving this diagnosis has enabled me to be assertive in asking for something I need instead of spending my life apologising for who I am and feeling like a prize idiot most of the time in conversation, when really, being neurodiverse, (Autistic) is part of my personality. It's how I process life, and I am okay. This is okay.**
I have nearly finished attending this 6 week course run by psychologist staff at the Lincolnshire Hospital (I'll be sad to see it finish, they have been really helpful and I've met some really nice people who have attended). I have felt encouraged, listened to, and supported. I found it a comforting feeling when someone said they suffered in a certain way and I too recognise exactly what they are talking about, and the feelings that come along with it. This enabled us to support and encourage one another. We are even going to keep in touch with one another through social media. Perhaps even meet up in person now and again.
There's obviously lots of information about Autism on the internet. I searched for charities and found one called The National Autistic Society. There are many more if you search on Google. But I thought I would start with this one. The picture is not their logo. I like the picture, It's colours, this is why I chose it. Click the picture if you would like to go to their website and discover more about Autism.
It surprises me how many people are not educated as to what Autism is and what it is not. But why should they be? If it does not affect them, then why bother. But problems can arise if you have been diagnosed. Unless another person understands your particular 'traits', because everyone's are different, they are most probably going to judge you (often without realising) and jump to conclusions about your behaviour. And especially if you reveal to them that you are Autistic. It has happened to me many times over the past 12 months since being diagnosed. I've wanted to tell people, and have tried to do this, but not received the response I had hoped for.
I felt it was a positive experience, having been given the diagnosis. My life had started to click into place. I started to make sense to myself if nothing else.
Over the past 12 months it has felt like my brain has been clicking into place. All my life, over the past 55 years - it makes sense to me now! (And I would just like to add, for those of you who know me well... being diagnosed does not mean you should treat me any different than you have already over the past 55 years or the time we have known each other, I have not suddenly become a super alien or grown two heads.)
If you know me well, by now, we have already developed ways of communicating that we both understand. Yes, we may have had those fights where you and I have not understood what I am talking about, but most of the time, we found a way around that, we must have, because we are still in contact. I say this with a light hearted intention.
Everyone is individual. This is why it is called a spectrum. Everyone has different levels of needs. Some people have managed all throughout their lives, and just got by. I did. But my life has been exhausting, literally.
Before I continue, I want you to know, I am not an expert in Autism. Some of the terms and words, I may get wrong. This blog is coming from a very personal perspective through being diagnosed. This is about my own personal experience. I make no claims to know anything professional about Autism. I wrote this informal post in the hope that it may inspire others and help you to feel less alone. I also wrote this blog as a personal reflective and discovery diary after attending the course in Lincoln. The next post to be published will start at week 1, then 2, and so on - with my thoughts, feelings and reflections.
From week 1, right through to week 6, it has been the best thing by far concerning support and learning to understand myself. I have met some really nice and friendly people and am pleased to have been given the opportunity to attend.
So, here is my particular story: At the age of 55, last year, 2022, I was given the diagnosis by a specialist psychologist in Lincolnshire NHS. This was the eventual result of needing to have several emergency visits to hospital (I know, its a bit extreme, but this is how stress in my life at that time affected me). It got to the point where although my symptoms were appearing to be physical (and some of them were), there was obviously something else going on. We did have the covid pandemic and lockdown at the time, and my own personal circumstances were beyond what most people could imagine. But ambulance staff, and a close friend, suggested I might consider asking about an Autism diagnosis because they recognised something in me and my behaviour.
Throughout my life I kind of knew I was odd (I say this in the kindest way and without being self-critical). I felt this because my life had never made much sense. In my 30s, I had even been through the personal change process whilst training for over 7 years in different psychotherapy models to become a registered counsellor with psychotherapy skills. But there was still something, a difference, that felt like it was this 'something' within my personality, my internal make-up, not a behaviour that could be modified. It was rather like I had been plonked on planet earth to live with human beings, and I was secretly an alien. That made much more sense to me, honestly. I even learned and studied subjective experience for years through neuro linguistic programming and clinical hypnotherapy. That was in the early 1990s, and took another 5 years in study, it was before embarking upon the counselling and psychotherapy training. This helped me to become an expert in the neuro linguistics' Milton Model by Milton Erickson, at best, if you know anything about the subject. I learned to talk for England about nothing specific. The Milton Model is a very ambiguous way of speaking. This was a great escape for me. But my partner soon had me sussed because he is trained in the same area. He would, and still does say, 'what on earth are you talking about, can you speak so that someone outside of yourself understands?!' So my disguise didn't work there either.
Over the years I have been labelled as 'standoffish', 'awkward', 'strange', 'stupid', looking 'frightened, confused and scared', looking 'lost and confused', 'abrupt and insensitive', metaphorically 'cold', and the worse one for me... no one really gets what I am trying to explain or say to them, so I bottled it up inside and pretended to be someone I am not. That took nearly 55 years of exhaustive practice - and it was well before the infamous 'Milton Model'. (This way of coping is called masking, I think, and the exhaustion that comes with this way of living can be debilitating, leading to 'meltdowns').
In my younger years, I was often labelled as 'thick', 'painfully shy' and I was pushed around at school, made friends with the people who would 'accept me'. So, this made me 'fodder' for any games like bullying. But that was the 1970s, it was kind of accepted back then, if you didn't have a nic-name or wasn't bullied, you weren't normal!
However, I would copy people, their behaviours, to fit in, and often (even to this day) was easily lured into controlling and manipulative relationships. I would often, and still do, believe everything that anyone says to me, and so on. (Although by the age of 55, I have learned not to believe everything, and anything that anyone says to me, until they follow it up with their behaviour. This was a good step forward for me, a wisdom. It allows for less disappointment. People are quick to say and promise anything and not follow it up with behaviour.)
Age 23, I gave birth to a daughter. (Who, incidentally, has turned out to be the most beautifully resourceful and resilient human being I have ever met. She now has a family of her own. I am pretty sure at least one of her kiddies are autistic and ADHD, but I don't want to push her in the direction of diagnosis unless it helps, it's her own choice. not mine.)
I suffered with post natal depression when my daughter was very young, struggled to cope for around 18 months. This went on to being diagnosed as seasonal affective disorder and then obsessive compulsive disorder, and then anxiety disorder. And, for a few years, I was filled with of lots of different types of pills, had to have several treatments of ECT in the early 1980s, and given even more pills. Until, eventually, we realised I didn't need the pills. And, I refused them anyway. They were causing more problems, rather than any healing. (** PLEASE NEVER STOP TAKING ANY MEDICATION WITHOUT MEDICAL ADVICE - THIS WAS A LONG DRAWN-OUT PROCESS FOR ME AND IT WAS EVENTUALLY DECIDED THAT THE PILLS MADE NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER IN MY INSTANCE. BUT THAT WAS MOST PROBABLY WAS BECAUSE I WAS AUTISTIC, NOT DEPRESSED. WELL, PERHAPS A LITTLE DEPRESSED AT FEELING UNABLE TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR A NEW BABY AFTER HAVING HAD SURGERY, WHICH I TALK ABOUT NEXT. BUT THERAPY HAD NO EFFECT ON ME. WE WERE GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES. I WAS GUIDED BY MEDICAL STAFF TO COME OFF MY MEDICATION, AND DIDN'T JUST STOP TAKING THEM. SO PLEASE DO NOT TRANSLATE MY EXPERIENCE INTO YOURS WITHOUT MEDICAL ADVICE.**)
You see, I had a terrible problem with self-expression. Unable to say what was really happening inside of my VERY busy and vivid imaginative mind. It was all inside and needed to get out.
Give me something to make, solve a problem, and I was on with it, straight away. Creative - fantastic!
But I couldn't hold what felt like proper conversations, and felt like I was telling the other person mish-mash. I was a fidget, and distracted. Found comfort in repetition, delved into a world of imagination, and had great focus in certain areas, often negative areas. And my life was so detailed, extremely. (I have been criticised time and again, especially by those closest to me, for my attention to detail, been told I find the most complicated way out of a situation, when I personally believe I am solving it. But I am now learning this can be a really good skill to have. And I nearly always arrive at a better conclusion. I get the same results as someone else, but I guess mine is often a little more perfect, if you understand my meaning. Exhausting, but perfect, in my world. I am not trying to make myself better than anyone else, just explaining. And another thing, this is to my Dad, I recognise a lot of this behaviour in you! Yes, you Dad, you are such a perfectionist, and I have heard Mum complain to you many times about your convoluted ways of achieving something. Yet you reach perfection! So right back at you, Mum and Dad! Without malice.)
By the age of 30, I had undergone 10 major surgeries to my abdomen. Most before the birth of my daughter. So, I can understand why it was difficult for me to handle looking after a small baby. My parents played a huge role in helping out during the early years, and I am very grateful for that help.
I had lots of organs removed. Yet, nothing was ever conclusive regarding what was really wrong with me. ALL the tests came back as normal (even my current doctor had to go through my notes once recently for something or other, and said this), yet back in those days, they were fast enough to get the scalpel out and start removing bits and pieces of me. Autism wasn't that readily considered, even though the first case was diagnosed in 1933. So Autism was known about, but not readily diagnosed or recognised. You can read a little about it here. What is autism? - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
**I just want to add. My experience with the surgery is a bit extreme, to say the least. I am not trying to frighten you. Or say that if you have had surgery when there may have been no need, that it equals my experience. Like I said, everyone is different. And, some of this information may be relevant or irrelevant.**
At first, it was obvious that my bowels had stopped working, I was so uptight and painfully shy. But no test came back positive to show ANY signs of diseases like Crohns or Colitis or anything similar. It wasn't until after the second operation that I started to need more surgery. But that was the result of now having scar tissue from the surgeons opening me up in the first place. These are called 'adhesions', and they can cause our insides to stick together and cause blockages in areas, like small intestines. Each time the surgeon's operate, there is a risk of more adhesions forming. So, it is sometimes considered better to monitor a patient and help them cope with this leftover pain, rather than make things worse and perform more operations. Oh, and I remember once a consultant jokingly apologising for taking out too much of my intestine, rendering me incontinent. This is what lead to me needing a permanent ileostomy.
Angry thoughts? Well, that was then and this is now. There is only so much regret and anger someone can carry throughout life. And anyway, if I decided to go backwards into the 1980s and start litigation, I think my current wonderful best friend of a partner for over 25 years would probably leave me. For goodness sake, he's had to come to terms with living me as being the flamboyant autistic. Isn't that enough? Really?
So, I now had a permanent ileostomy. A full hysterectomy. An ileo-anal anastomosis (that is removal of the rectum and anus), and, plenty of adhesions. Physically, my life from then onwards was filled with emergency visits to hospital because of ileostomy blockages, adhesion pain, and now other pains because my insides could not absorb the same kind of nutrients of a normal person my age. This led to arthritic conditions, hormonal and electrolyte imbalances, and a constant tiredness like no other. (As well as the difficult tiredness feelings because I felt unable to say what was happening inside of my mind.) Physically, I was never going to be the same again. Everything, from low self-esteem, to choosing clothes so that people would not notice I had a 'pouch of poo' protruding out of my abdomen. That affected me lots.
I am telling you this because I honestly believe, as the saying goes, if I had seen the right person at the right time, none of the surgery would have been needed. I honestly believe that if I had learned better ways of coping with self-expression, the surgery would never have occurred. Yes, we can look back at our life history and events, and how they formed us, and the way we reacted to life. But, for me, it didn't take away the structured way I needed to live my life, how I ate certain types of food and refused others completely, carried out repetitive actions, got (and still do) overly excited about the colours and sounds of things, laughing at inappropriate moments, feeling and needing to jump for joy (yes, I still do this), and worst of all, believing every word literally that someone would say to me, and translating the world 'literally'.
Do you know, the first job I ever had was a brilliant job. I was an office junior for an estate agents in Leeds. They were called Mosley Gibson. And I think Mr Gibson took a kind of shine to me and my simplicity. He treated me well and always spoke clearly when giving me tasks to do. Although I can remember one Christmas he had brought into his office a huge cardboard box filled with Christmas Chocolates, I think they were Cadbury's Milk Tray or something. There must have been about 50 separate boxes inside this large cardboard box. One afternoon, he gave me the task of wrapping them for his clients. His words were, 'here's some wrapping paper Paula, will you sort this out?'
What did I do? I three quarters wrapped up the large cardboard box, with all the chocolate boxes inside, then knocked on his office door to ask if I could go and get some more wrapping paper because there wasn't enough. When he came outside into the main office to see what I had done, he put his head in his hands, walked back into his office, laughing.
I had spent over an hour trying my best to make the wrapping paper stick all the way around the big cardboard box, instead of taking each individual box of chocolates out, wrapping each one, and so forth. I honestly believed he wanted me to wrap the huge box and thought nothing more of it.
Yet at age 16, in that very same job, I was in charge of recalling rental payments, sending reminders, totting up inconsistencies, and organising the company's rental portfolio!
Moving onwards...and more about my Personal Statement of Needs (which will need better wording and making very concise)...(actually, this post is written very informally, I feel this is important, then it comes right from my heart and it is written as my thought process delivers the words, if you understand what I am trying to say?)
1. I am not thick.
2. I know when people are judging me. I recognise when you are judging me.
3. I can read body language very well, and my presumptions are often correct, when I check it out.
4. Face to face contact works best for me. I can get very frustrated on the telephone. I feel able to say more of what I need to say by writing about it too.
5. If you see me as looking frightened/confused or scared, I am merely processing in my mind, and have stopped taking notice or listening to you because I am so overwhelmed by my senses and am busy translating something you may have said to me 5 minutes ago. I need to go away and think about things. There may be many times when you will not get an instant answer from me. I need to go away and think and process.
6. I often do not understand small talk and laugh inappropriately or look confused. This is okay with me. I do not intend to offend you.
7. I am mature enough to tell you if I do not understand or if something is wrong - it is just that I may be direct and straight to the point with my language. I am not rude, just honest and blunt.
8. Do not feel you have to address my looking confused, or translate it into 'anxiety', by asking if I am okay. I have a heightened sense of awareness with all of my senses. I am fine, just processing in my head. Sometimes I need a little more time.
9. I take what you say literally - word for word. Tell me you have no money, I see a picture of an empty purse and an empty bank account with no money in it. My response is to worry. By the way, I am terrible at handling my own money. I either have some or have none. But whether that has anything to do with being literal or getting stuck in a behaviour, I am not sure.
10. I am not naïve. I am literal. I do understand the real world. My head is not stuck in the sand as the saying goes. I take a while to process. I also have a vivid imagination.
11. Take a metaphor like, 'he or she is on the ball' - I see a picture of the person either sitting or standing on a ball.
12. I need things clarifying to make sure I understand.
13. As I am now 55, I have learned to ask for things to be clarified.
14. I may ask you a few times about the same thing to make sure I understand. But please also make sure that I understand you. Or you may get an unusual (for your recognition) response.
15. I often cannot get my words out to explain what I am trying to say to you. People have walked away from me when I do this, or have treated me like I am thick or an idiot. I am intelligent.
16. I have an inability to explain what is going on inside of my mind and get very frustrated when others misunderstand me.
Yet I am an intelligent person. I have written and published my own books, successfully promoted and sold them, the whole process from start to finish. I have written and published websites - for goodness sake!
17. My mind is constantly busy - often inventing and creating and devising new ideas to create.
18. I love writing and feel I am very near to discovering my true voice through my writing. I get up at 5.30am every morning to write, anything. This alleviates some of the frustration that has built up inside of me.
19. I can taste colours and feel overwhelmed by them, nature is child-like curious to me. I am absolutely amazed by small creatures, the noises they make, and the minute pieces of nature, like soil and sand.
20. I love my dog, Ruby, feeling, holding and stroking her fur calms me. She follows me around my house, everywhere.
21. Texture is very important to me. Labels in clothing drives me mad. My clothing has to be comfortable and in a colour that makes me feel intensely.
22. I cannot hear you if someone else is talking at the same time in the same room. But I often pretend that I can hear you. I do not like social events, but enjoy spending time with people.
23. I am abrupt, but keep good time. Unless I am having a crisis with the structure of my day. Oh, this is one of the worst things... My life, every day, has a structure. This is very important to me. I can get distressed at change for silly reasons. But they are not silly to me.
24. I can appear to be rude and abrupt, a lot. I am direct and need direct communication, no fluff.
25. When a conversation is over, it's over. This does not mean I do not like you. I have simply finished talking. I am not selfish. This is the way I process. You need to tell me if you have something else to say. But I have learned to ask more of the time now I have reached a mature age and found ways and excuses to get around it.
26. I often copy people and their behaviour. I am easily led. I gain rapport with people so quickly, I can feel their thoughts, their energies, and feelings. It is like I know what is going on in their life, or feel like I do. Deep empathy comes naturally to me.
27. If I like something about you, I may begin to copy it without realising. I am currently working with my therapist on personal boundaries because all throughout my life I have easily become entangled in controlling relationships and with new friendships who inadvertently take advantage of my kind nature.
28. If I like something you do or teach me, for instance, a new way to make soup. I will have that soup every day until someone tells me that I have been having the same soup every day and should perhaps stop. For the past 2 months, I have eaten Coronation Chicken sandwiches for lunch every single day. I think it was the Kings Coronation that started it. I feel comfortable, I like Coronation Chicken, and eat it every day. For now.
29. I am happy to have exactly the same food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper, every single day. I get very flustered and can almost melt down if I can't fine exactly the right ingredients, make and model of ingredients to put together what I need to make the same meal each day.
30. I am a very sensitive person.
31. For the doctor specifically: If I am told to take pills, I will take them for the rest of my life unless I am told not to. Even if I am told to stop taking the pills, this may cause me to get very frustrated and behave immaturely, because it has become a part of my daily routine, even if I have been told to reduce them. I may need to clarify this several times. I struggle to change the pattern, the structure. This is because I live my life in structures, and struggle A LOT if they are changed. I have struggled with addiction to pain medication many times.
32. My day is structured. Every single day, every hour, ever minute, is accounted for. It's all arranged in my head, and I struggle if something different happens. It's really hard for me to live in the same home as another person. Honestly! And, if someone calls unannounced. This does not mean I do not want you to call. It means I struggle with change in my structure.
33. I have amazing focus and will often forget to feed myself or be late for an appointment if I am in the 'zone'.
34. I have the same cup, dish, spoon, knife, fork, cup. I do not take these everywhere with me. But they go in certain places in our kitchen cupboards.
35. I can spend a whole day doing nothing because my structure has been broken. I honestly don't know what to do.
36.As I am direct and completely honest with you I expect the same in response. But its often non-reciprocal, more judgmental. I know when you lie to me. I accept this will happen, but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt inside.
37. If you do not respond to a text or email, I believe you have not read it. So I may not contact you again.
38. I can be a loyal, sensitive and caring friend. I am empathic, very.
39. I am repetitive in some behaviours. For instance, I may find comfort in reading a page of a book over and over. Take a bracelet apart and put it back together, several times. Walk in and out of a room. This is called stimming, I think. But, I am not crazy! And the best thing I have taken from attending the course at Lincoln so far has been, 'never apologise for being me'. This is me.
40. If I know you do not like me, or are being incongruent (not saying what you are really thinking), or if there is something in our relationship that I feel we cannot sort out, I will most probably turn you into a character for one of my stories and publish it in a book with a positive outcome. This is the way I have learned over the years to deal with my inability to speak words and explain precisely what I am experiencing inside. And, NO, CBT doesn't work. Not for me anyway.
41. If I am unable to write, emotions build up inside and this affects me physically. This has led to more adhesion pain, more ileostomy blockages, and more emergency visits to the hospital. This has actually been life threatening for me. Ive been close to death many times through blockages.
42. I need to sometimes be reminded to look after myself and pace myself. This is because I have reached a certain age where I cannot really afford to have much more surgery, and it can all be avoided if I used a little more self care. I NEED TO WRITE.
43. Hospitals are very familiar to me. I quite honestly detest them because of the time I have needed to spend there. The amount of surgery, the blockages, the trauma, and all the pain. Is awful.
44. It has taken me years to realise that not everyone has to like me. It is okay to be me. I do not need to like everyone either. I do not have to accept their behaviour or response to a situation. It is okay not to be friends or have contact with someone who makes me feel uncomfortable.
45. I do not require medication *apart from pain meds for adhesion pain and arthritic conditions* (once a dental receptionist asked me what medication I take for Autism!?). It is not a condition that heals (although that's not the right word). It is not how I have developed throughout my life or learned from others. IT IS ME. MY INDIVIDUALITY. I AM NEURO DIVERSE. I AM AUTISTIC.
46. One other thing, and to clarify: I am not so inflexible. I do realise that everyone is individual too within their personality, and has their own wants, needs and beliefs. I respect and honour this.
47. Being Autistic has also nothing to do with my upbringing. No one is to blame. It is who I am. My parents are kind, caring parents, and have provided me with the best childhood anyone else may have had.
To finish, I would like to share a wonderful passage from the late and wonderful family psychotherapist, Virginia Satir:
I AM ME by Virgina Satir
I am me. In all the world, there is no one exactly like me. There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone choose it. I own everything about me, My body including everything it does; My mind including all its thoughts and ideas; My eyes including the images of all they behold; My feelings whatever they may be… anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement. My Mouth and all the words that come out of it, polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect; My Voice loud or soft. And all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me I can become intimately acquainted with me. By doing so I can love me and be friendly with me in all parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is ME . This is authentic and represents where I am in that moment in time. When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore I can engineer me. I am me and I am okay.
The 5 Freedoms by Virginia Satir
1. To see and hear what is here, instead of what should be, was, or will be.
2. To say what one feels and thinks instead of what one should.
3. To feel what one feels, instead of what one ought.
4. To ask for what one wants, instead of always waiting for permission.
5. To take risks on one's own behalf, instead of choosing to be only 'secure' and not rocking the boat.
The next post will be my personal reflections from Week 1 of 6 from the Autism Course at Lincoln Hospital.
Thank you for taking the time to read through all this. I hope it makes sense to you. Please feel free to leave a comment. I have a diverse website called www.busycornerbooks.com. I am currently updating and rewriting it. *But having trouble with concentration at the moment because, together with my GP, we are tapering a course of immunosuppressants. And one of the withdrawal effects happens to be poor eyesight, weird pains, tiredness and confusion*. The website will be finished, and perfected. I just need a little time to get myself organised.
Writing is very important to me, it takes a lot of thought process before I can get on with finishing a particular area. My fingers do not work properly due to arthritis but I can manage to plonk them along my computer keyboard and write enough to save myself from myself.
If you would like me to share your story, anonymously, I am happy to do this in the hope of you too helping to inspire others.
Please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and perhaps we could arrange this. I will never, ever share your personal information with anyone. Having had professional training in ethical conduct through qualifying as a counsellor and psychotherapist, I understand about confidentiality, safe guarding and data protection. I will never share your information with ANY third party.