I have been seriously thinking this over for many months. It’s not something I really want to do but I feel that it is something I need to do. Obviously, I see things on my social network walls because I follow the various autism associations. I feel like I am kind of obliged to like and follow their pages. I’m still very anxious and afraid of a lot of things at this moment in time after everything that has happened. I do feel that if I don’t go out there to certain things in a speaker type role, then nothing is ever going to change. I don’t have a lot of confidence any more, but if I help to change attitudes and parts of our current system, then it may help me get my confidence back. There’s a few conferences I’d love to be given the chance to speak at hosted by NAS. They were in Birmingham too, which is close to where I am located.
The latest one coming up this month is the 17th International Conference on Offenders with an intellectual and/or developmental disability hosted by The National Autistic Society. The conference is aimed at people who work with offenders that have a form of autism or learning disability. I’ve looked at their schedule online. Those speaking at the event are all professionals. I don’t think any of them actually have a form of Autism themselves. They definitely all have degrees. There needs to be more balance which someone like myself can add. I can ask the key questions from our community that have been failed by the system. It’s going to be a positive change for these conferences because myself and others on the spectrum that have had issues feel that the likes of NAS aren’t representing autistic people. I do not wish to get at other people, but I have an issue with all of the professionals that are making money and getting publicity due to a disability that has wrecked mine and others lives. I’m aware that some have got children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I feel that it should be us as Autistics that are representing our disabilities. At the moment we are being thrown aside and our voices aren’t ‘heard’. Some of the ‘not being heard’ issue might spring from others taking the stage claiming to represent us, but not having a clue what it’s like to have this condition first hand. I do not wish to offend here, however you know that I’m going to say what I think anyway, but even as a parent you don’t know exactly what it is like for us. People may make comments about your children which offend you, but you’re not treated differently, punished for your differences or, in my case, denied a family because others within the system just cannot understand your disability and then subsequently misunderstand/misjudge you constantly.
I have no malice in me. The problems that I had to do with my Autism (PDA kind, which in my opinion is the worse because of your awareness of how different and left out you are because of it) were due to lack of experience (never actually had a proper boyfriend/girlfriend relationship or even a close friendship. I was labelled as mentally ill instead of anyone teaching me how to be. The mental health services aren’t there to ‘teach’, they are there to ‘treat’ (well supposedly when they actually work). Others could never see the things I wished they’d have been able to see. I have always been quite naïve and couldn’t see social dangers because that naivety blinded me to them. I’m still a bit like that but have now got a wall up which I won’t let other people come over. I’m still an open and honest person but not in the same way. I find it very hard to lie without feeling very bad which doesn’t help when I’ve been interviewed by police etc. I ended up in tears literally saying every detail that happened. That is also anxiety fuelled as well because the whole system petrifies me.
Meanwhile, on the new hair front… it’s not going great. The ends look no better since I snipped them. The ginger will not go out despite having bleached it 3 times. I can’t do it any more because it will ruin my hair even more. The elasticity needs to come back and the bonds need to strengthen again before I attempt another lightening stage. That’s going to take at least 3 months judging by the state of it right now. I do not have the money to get the ends trimmed by a hairdresser. If it just won’t lighten past the ginger on the ends because of previously having red on it and the natural red colouring in my hair, then I can probably just add an ash toner dye over it. I went to my Mothers and it’s like she delights in slagging my hair off. I told her my aim for it and she tells me I’m too old for that kind of hair. I do not look 30 years old. Maybe I like the bleach and pastel colours look. Nothing says you have to have boring hair when you reach your 30s and beyond. And, if I am going to go out there and be in the public eye, then I’m going to have to sell myself with a distinctive style. I find it hard to stand out anyway. I have to become a product that has a unique selling point. PDA is basically a ‘newly discovered and soon to be recognised form of Autism’. I need to represent that in physical form.
One last point, there is a peaceful protest in London on 15th May 2018 in London. I’ve put the details on the facebook and twitter page of this blog. I can’t go because it’s in the middle of my gcse law exams. I’m hoping that I can get followers of this blog to attend. I have friends down in London who I would appreciate attending on my behalf if they haven’t got anything else on. I’m busy getting my education so that eventually I can get a degree in Psychology or something to be classed as ‘professional.