Parental Irresponsibility

When I think back to my first memories
Of you and my mother, it’s nothing
Special. You loved the demon bottle
More than you ever did or could
Love me, her and my baby sister.
The only one you loved was you.

The lies about imaginary overtime;
All excuses you gave to our mum
So you could spend time with
Your pint-sized mistress, followed
Up with a threesome with a couple
Of top-shelf whiskey shots.

Your rage and anger on your return,
Just because you had to leave
Them and come back to the sad
Reality of your “millstone life” –
The family that you hated for
Keeping you away from your demons.

The bipolar attitude you had with us;
One minute Mr Nice Guy, the next
You’re raging at me and my sister;
Throwing plates up the walls;
The swearing, shoving, and
The emotional and physical beat-downs.

You chose to walk out on the three
Of us the night before Mother’s Day.
I can’t believe you chose the coward’s
Way out,. No contact; no help or
Emotional or financial support.
Leaving me to try and keep the family together

In the aftermath of the destruction
Your absence caused for the two of us.
Spending days staring out the window
When you said “See you Saturday”.
Wondering what I’d done to you
To make you stay away – why you hated us.

Finally, getting the one thing you wanted;
Freedom from a family that loved you enough
To try and stop your drinking, your violent temper,
Your world of lies Into the arms of another woman.
Not one, but two half-sisters, one of whom you discarded
Because she wasn’t “normal” or “acceptable” to you.

Just when I thought the lying and cheating had stopped,
Grandad had to force you tell my half-sister about us.
Sixteen years of “You’re an only child”, the deceit was finally
About to catch up with you and crash around you.
Don’t think I blame her at all for anything; that responsibility
Rests entirely at yours and that replacement’s feet

The thing is that I’ve broken your fucking cycle, bitch.
I’ve spent my life doing the opposite of you, with my angels.
I’m not the perfect parent or husband – I wish I was to my family.
I’ve fought to get where I am in my life, I could have chosen
The easy route like you and run away, given up, lied and hidden.
We share DNA but that’s where the similarities end, motherfucker.
We are not the same, and never will be in this or any lifetime.

I know that when it all comes to an end, turning black,
game over, my heart gives out and I face whatever’s next,
My kids and grandchildren will remember me with a fondness
That you will never have or understand. No one will weep for you.
Maybe the publican you think is a good friend, a true mate, might.
Truth is, you’re nothing to us but a sad footnote in the family history.
A branch of the family tree I should have pruned years earlier.







I don’t think inside the box, I don’t think outside the box, I don’t even know where the box is.

Aspergers Poet

Famous Autistics? Podcast

Hans Christian Andersen
The experts go back and forth over whether the beloved writer of such fairy tales as The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling, was autistic or not. Most of those who insist that he appeared somewhere on the spectrum are those who are autistic themselves, and therefore can relate to Andersen on a personal level. For example, Andersen’s diary describes in great length his many bouts of unrequited love for those who were, quite frankly, unattainable. This is a common personal experience for those on the spectrum who can relate, and they also cite the recurring theme of outcast characters in his stories as being a feeling they are familiar with. Most never achieve their sought-after happy endings.

Tim Burton
Is Hollywood director Tim Burton autistic? His long-time partner, Helena Bonham-Carter, seems to think so. At least, she once speculated that he was “possibly autistic” during an interview. While researching an autistic character for a film, Carter claims, she had an “a-ha! moment” and realised that much of her research applied to Burton. Said Carter, “Autistic people have application and dedication. You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you. But that quality also makes him a fantastic father; he has an amazing sense of humour and imagination. He sees things other people won’t see.”

Lewis Carroll
There are few historical figures as controversial as the author of the children’s classic Alice in Wonderland. While some of his behaviour, such as continuously seeking out the company of young girls, has made some wonder if the university professor was a paedophile, others use the same information to insist that Carroll was actually autistic. After all, Carroll lived in a different time and place, with far different social customs than those we are used to today. He was also known to be a poor communicator, which was exacerbated by a severe stammer, and it is therefore likely that he found interacting with children much easier. Carroll showed great mathematical ability and even considered himself to be a minor inventor; both common characteristics of those on the spectrum.

Charles Darwin
Trinity College professor Michael Fitzgerald, a leading psychiatrist, researched and published a paper concluding that Charles Darwin had Asperger’s Syndrome. There are records from Darwin’s childhood that state he was a very quiet and isolated child, who avoided interaction with others as much as he could. Like so many others with Asperger’s, he sought alternative ways of communicating, such as writing letters. He had fixations with certain topics like chemistry, but was a very visual thinker — all traits of someone on the autism spectrum.

Paul Dirac
Paul Dirac has repeatedly been referred to as one of the most significant and influential physicists of the 20th century. The Cambridge professor greatly contributed to early quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, and even received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. That Nobel, however, was almost refused by Dirac, who was so reclusive that he didn’t want the publicity. Such shyness is one of many reasons why a large number of people think Dirac may have had some form of autism. Besides his shyness, they cite his intense focus, extreme literal-mindedness, lack of empathy, and his rigid patterns.

Albert Einstein
Perhaps the most famous scientist and mathematician in history, Albert Einstein, had a number of interesting and possibly telling characteristics. For one, he had trouble socialising, especially as an adult. As a child, he experienced severe speech delays and later had a habit of repeating sentences to himself. And of course, he was incredibly technical. Such characteristics have led many experts to conclude that he appeared somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Bobby Fischer
Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster and World Chess Champion, is said to have had Asperger’s Syndrome in addition to paranoid schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Fischer was known to be extremely intense, and did not relate well to others thanks to his lack of friendships and poor social abilities. His extreme focus on chess is another sign, as his track record for not being able to cope in an unstructured environment.

Bill Gates
Could Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, be autistic? Quite a few autism experts seem to think so! While nothing has ever been confirmed regarding whether or not Gates falls on the spectrum, those who seem to think he is cite things like the distinct rocking motion Gates displays when he concentrates, his shortened and monotoned speech patterns, and his habits of avoiding eye contact on the rare occasion he speaks directly with someone else. These are all common characters of those on the spectrum, and the evidence that Bill Gates may be autistic is quite persuasive.

Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah — the beautiful star of films like Splash, Blade Runner, and Steel Magnolias — only came out about her experiences on the autism spectrum about five years ago. Since then, Hannah has been nothing but inspirational as she’s told the honest truth about her challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome. As a child, she rocked herself to self-soothe, and was so shy that once she began acting she refused to give interviews or even attend her own premieres. Though she has mostly learned to control and live with her diagnosis, Hannah has all but left the entertainment industry to focus on environmental issues and other passions.

Steve Jobs
Those who associate Steve Jobs with autism admit that it’s pure speculation, but they are also quick to point out that that speculation has grown more and more mainstream since the Apple genius’s death in 2011. Those who believe Jobs landed somewhere on the spectrum cite such behavioral quirks as his obsession with perfection, his unorthodox ways of thinking, and his general lack of empathy when dealing with others.

Satoshi Tajiri
As a child, Satoshi Tajiri was fascinated by insects and was even nicknamed “Dr. Bug” by other children. As an adult, Tajiri turned that interest into the world-wide phenomenon that is Pokemon — which itself makes him an inspiration to millions of children (and adults!) around the world. But Tajiri is also on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Though he confirmed that he does indeed have Asperger’s Syndrome, Tajiri does not talk about it in public, choosing instead to let his many accomplishments speak for themselves

Susan Boyle
If you don’t remember, in 2009 this Scottish woman auditioned for the Britain’s Got Talent, and she touched the world with her mesmerizing voice and instantly became a sensation. After which she never looked back and went onto selling 14 million records around the world.

Until recently, Boyle announced that she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, through a Scottish specialist – which she called “a relief”

According to her “Asperger’s doesn’t define me. It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself,” she said in the interview. Now that is what you call a never-dying spirit.

Stanley Kubrick

It seems strange to think that we would be talking about this renowned filmmaker having suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. Though Kubrick does not live among us anymore, his legacy continues.

Kubrick was diagnosed in retrospect by Dr. Michael Fitzgerald along with co-writer Viktoria. They based their diagnosis on the facts on Kubrick’s behavioral traits – like obsessive interests, poor sociability and lack of adaptability towards new things.

Temple Grandin
There may be no autistic person alive today more famous than Temple Grandin. The author and Colorado State University professor didn’t begin speaking until she was almost four years old, and the doctors who diagnosed her recommended she be institutionalised. Fortunately, her parents did not agree with those doctors. Grandin has gone on to become a leading force in animal sciences, has been named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, and has produced an award-winning biopic about her life. She remains an outspoken advocate in the autism community, and has been unapologetic about her belief that the “characteristics of autism can be modified and controlled.”
Anne Heggerty

Anne, 59, from Wood Green, North London, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism, in 2005 after seeing a TV programme about autism and realising she had all of the symptoms. Anne said: ‘For a long time I didn’t know what the problem was but I realised I had trouble multi-tasking.’

“Around about 2003 I happened to see a TV programme about little autistic boys and something about it just kind of clicked. I just thought “There is something about the way those boys are behaving that reminds me of me now, and of me when I was a child.”

“I started researching Asperger’s syndrome and high functioning autism,’ she added. ‘I started reading about it and I thought that’s it! That’s what it’s been ever since I was a child.”

Anne visited a doctor who specialises in people with special needs and told her she had Asperger’s

Catch up

I must apologise for being away from here for such a long time, but over the last few weeks and months I’ve been so caught up in all my other side projects and other fantastical ideas, that I’ve not really had time to keep you updated with what’s been going on in my life, and ramble on at you here.

Well where do I start? Yes, before you say “the beginning” like a smart-arse – don’t. it’s not funny, big or clever. Although logically, it’s the ideal start point for any story, so let’s begin there. I have been interviewed for a book that is coming out this year – exciting news, and surprising at the same time. I’ve started writing scribbles (poetry if you must) again too.  This was bought about by someone asking me if I still write, and if not, why not.  This prompted me to begin writing again, and I must say that after sending some samples of them to a very good friend in Knoxville, I was told that they were very fierce and aggressive, which was unsurprising as I was listening to angry white guy, Eminem, while writing. I think that might have influenced my writing style somewhat. This same friend also prompted another side project or idea, which I had thought of myself, but ignored. Now, after her confirmation, I’m very keen to pursue this idea. This side project is rap or spoken word to music, maybe. I was told that a lot of my work had a melodic flow that would lend itself to music. Now, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact I’m a tone-deaf, semi-literate space bum (points if you get the reference). I’m not musically talented; I can barely play the spoons! So, I did what all crap musicians like Wand Erection and Just a Beaver do: I used a computer for the back beats, etc.  The results were received with a mixed reaction, so it’s still a side idea – but one I’m keen to pursue in private.

The biggest of my new ideas was brought about by another friend’s suggestion, and a Twitter poll where I asked the Twitterverse if I should consider doing a podcast. This was a huge step for me, as I hate my voice and I have a few other issues, including dyslexia and a stutter when I’m nervous. Anyway, the poll suggested that I should put a podcast together and share my thoughts with the world, so just a week before Christmas, I got my microphone and a bottle of Jack Daniels and decided to waffle into an empty void about Autism and my life on the spectrum.  Well, this was only a 15-20 minute podcast, but it proved a turning point in the game, because after I put it up on Podbean (and then later iTunes), it started to take off.

I was blown away by the messages and kind words from people all over the world, and as a result of this I decided to have another go at it – this time with a script and ideas, etc.  It’s really taken off – people have even asked me to address certain issues.

Alongside this, I’ve been back to Derby to see my family and friends, but most importantly to meet my very first grandchild.  Yes, I’m sure you can’t believe a young handsome guy like me is a grandad! Well, I am and it was a very emotional trip as I had only seen pictures and didn’t know how I would react. These things, and some other bits alongside some personal issues, have meant that I’ve been missing for a while. Well guys, rest assured that I’m back and ready to hit 2018 like the bitch owes me £3,000 and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Stay Safe X

Autism, Diagnosis in Later Life

Around 700,000 people, or more than 1 in 100 in the population, may be autistic,

There is no register or exact count kept. Any information about the possible number of autistic people in the community must be based on studies of distinct and identifiable populations.

The latest studies indicate that 1.1% of the population, or 695,000 people in the UK may be on the autism spectrum. If you think that either you or a loved on is autistic, there are a number of resources online. I found the best one to take is The AQ Test. Just google AQ test

This was created by Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre. They have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. The test contains fifty questions, and the score is obviously out of fifty. The higher your score , the higher the likelihood that you might be Autistic. I could not score lower that 40 on it… Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder score 32 or higher.

This is possibly the first step to take before speaking to a healthcare professional about a diagnosis of ASD

With me, I was advised by Mrs Bob that she thought I might be on the autistim spectrum and so, at the age of nearly forty, I decided to start looking into the condition. The more I looked into it, the more it started to make sense – more so than my previous two diagnoses, initially of Bipolar Disorder in 2003, after a number of unsuccessful suicide attempts and I was given countless types of medication for that, none of which helped me. The other diagnosis was more serious and harder to remove: this was of schizophrenia, which was also eventually found to beincorrect. I must say that both of these incorrect diagnoses were given by a psychiatrist who was close to retirement and was practically phoning it in. He was utterly disinterested in me as a person or in finding the correct answer for me. As a result of these diagnoses, I struggled with many aspects of my life, but that’s another story for another podcast or my new book,

I took the AQ test as my wife had my piqued curiosity about autism and whether I would fit on the autism spectrum. My score was a scary 44 out of 50, so I took the test quite a few times but couldn’t score lower than a 40 so I decided to speak to my GP about a referral to the local autism team. During this time, I was also referred to a number of therapists and most were unsuccessful until I was finally referred to Art therapist, which was the best thing ever as even though I never did any art I got a lot of talking done about my past. It wasn’t fun but it helped, and my art therapist also suggested that I may be autistic,

Unfortunately, due to the length of the assessment process and the staff it needs for each one, there is a two year waiting time to get an assessment in my area, Plus, once I got a date for an assessment I was told that, due to my age, school and parental reports not being available, it would be difficult to get a diagnosis of autism but that wouldn’t stop them assessing me.

The assessment process consisted of three doctors spending two days talking with me and my wife, interviewing both of us together and then each of us separately. It also involved a battery of tests and questionnaires for me, and after a full day from 10-4pm I was exhausted and was told to come back in a few weeks to do another day of tests and questioning so they could make a diagnosis,

I returned for round two and it was a slightly shorter affair than the first, thankfully. I was told to wait while the three doctors discussed their findings. I was very nervous by this point and not feeling myself at all, when they came back with reams of paperwork, to speak to us both.

They explained that, after looking at all the evidence, they were convinced I had Asperger’s Syndrome, which a form of higher-functioning autism. They sat with me and explained how and why they had come to this conclusion. I was very surprised that after this was explained to me, I became very emotional and teary – it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from me and I felt free. It’s as if all the strange things in my life and my behaviour quirks had finally been justified. I had an answer.

After the dust had settled and I began to come to terms with the diagnosis and it’s meaning, lots of things began to make sense: the depression, the sensory issues, social difficulties, etc.

I’m upset that it took so long to get a diagnosis. If I hadn’t met my wife, who isn’t a clinician in any way, I would probably still be undiagnosed now. It’s also a shame that it takes such a long time from referral to diagnosis, and how many adults who are autistic have not managed to get a referral or worse still are walking around undiagnosed and having to struggle with little or no support. This can lead to such issues as depression and even suicide.