Responsible

Responsible

You’re not to blame.

You’re not the cause.

You didn’t ask for this.

You’re not responsible,

You’re not going crazy.

It’s simply not your fault.

They’re the ones to blame.

They’re responsible for this.

Gaslighting you for control,

They’re affecting your sanity.

They’re not the victim here –

It’s their problem, not yours.

This is not a loving relationship.

Fear, love, they’re different emotions

That don’t ever belong together.

Find the strength to walk away, please.

You’re a survivor, not a victim.

Leave them to face their demons.

All Aboard Part 2 – To Boldly Go

My latest vacation with Mrs Bob was a voyage to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no Aspie has gone before!

Originally, we were supposed to visit Guernsey first, but this was cancelled shortly after we attempted to tender there. The weather was bad and expected to deteriorate, so the Captain decided to “pull the plug”. So, we ploughed on to the next stop on our itinerary, Cork, in Southern Ireland. This gave us a bit more time at sea, so I decided to hit the pool and hot tub with a good graphic novel, while Mrs Bob watched from a recliner by the pool, reading. This was a strange experience for me, starting with getting changed and showering before entering the pool. This is normally uncomfortable for me, but it wasn’t helped when I walked past the sauna and saw a very naked old dude on display like a fish in Morrisons. After that initial awkward moment, I climbed quickly into the hot tub and found that people have an annoying habit of talking to me. Do I look like a freakin‘ people person? I’ve learned to cope with this and worked out how to “people” through working in a pub for the last few years. Still, it’s not my favourite pastime by any stretch of the imagination.

The next day we were on an excursion to Kinsale from the port at Cobh, Cork, and I must admit, the coach trip was very pleasant. The roads and scenery were pretty much like the ones here in south Devon, so we both felt really at home. I also found out that Kinsale was home to Keith Floyd who used to own the establishment I work in back home, so that was a fantastic touch to my visit. Kinsale is a quaint small town with a high street of shops and cafes. We were free to explore, so Mrs Bob found a little back-street cafe with lovely home-made gluten free cakes and huge cups of fresh coffee. Just what I needed! After refuelling, we found a touristy gift shop and Mes Bob went in search of a Christmas bauble for the tree. This is a tradition we have always had – getting one from every new place we visit, so we remember it. I went and sat on a bench as I was feeling a bit headachey, and once the bauble (a lovely metal Celtic cross made for hanging on a tree), we went in search of Taytos.

Taytos are Irish crisps and we had been told we MUST try them if we went to Ireland. Mrs Bob didn’t give up til she’d bought some, but it was harder than she had been led to believe! Once we got on the coach to return home, we checked out the packaging… neither of us could eat them! The salt and vinegar crisps contain both lactose and barley 😳. We tried!

Back on board, we enjoyed sitting on the balcony and watching as Cobh disappeared and we made our way to Dublin. Mrs Bob decided she wanted a drink from the Martini bar, which had a bar made of ice, and it was then that she discovered her favourite cruise drink… a candied Apple Martini! Several times she carefully balanced the very full, very shallow martini glass as the ship swayed, and she got in the lift up to our cabin’s deck! It’s nicer drinking on our balcony than at the bar, apparently.

At dinner, we were sat at a table of 6 for the cruise and we got to know the other two couples really well. One couple were originally from Paignton, and had been on 3 cruises in the last year, all on the same ship! The other were from Quebec, and the husband found it really challenging to speak in English every dinner time. Still, they were really nice and very chatty. Mrs Bob discovered that our very obliging, kind and helpful waiter was called Freddis, and was from Honduras. He had been waiting on cruises for 18 years and this was his last year, now his sons were through university. He looked after us, with all our food issues, so well and we were very grateful to him

In Dublin there were many excursions planned by the cruise ship, but I had personally organised my own trip into Dublin, to visit the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Mrs Bob was happy to tag along, despite having no real interest. After a shuttle bus ride and a fairly long walk, we found it. That Grand Lodge is the second most senior Grand Lodge in the world and the oldest in continuous existence. It is the institution that governs the Masonic Fraternity within Ireland and also in a number of Provinces overseas. This was a very special visit for me, as it was my first visit to an overseas lodge. While I couldn’t tour the temple that day, I was able to visit the museum which gave an interesting insight into Ireland’s Masonic past.

After this, we had a quick look around the centre of Dublin, then took the shuttle bus back to the ship. As we were the only people on it, the driver took us on a covert quick detour to show us a couple of sights, which we were very grateful for.

After two days spent in the Emerald Isle, though, it was time to set sail for colder climes, which meant two days at sea. This was great, as both of us love sea days and I could spend time exploring the ship and taking in some of the activities, quizzes, etc. Mrs Bob joined in some, but I won a medal in one event titled “Are you smarter than a Ship’s Officer?”. Apparently, I am! After all this excitement, I went to eat in the all-day-eat-as-much-as-you-like type restaurant on Deck 14, with a wonderful view of the sea. I found out that they made gluten-free pizzas, so I had one and a nice salad with it (just to feel healthy) and then went to find Mrs Bob and have a rest in the cabin. Then, we went to the inside pool again, for a nice relaxing hot-tub session and a lie-down by the pool with a Walking Dead graphic novel and a podcast. Mrs Bob had her Kindle and settled down with me.

I need to mention the other thing I found useful while adrift at sea was that the TV in our stateroom had some cracking free movies to watch, so we took in a few of them during sea days or quiet evenings, including:

  • Solo A Star Wars Story
  • Antman and the Wasp
  • A Simple Favour
    The Upside

I did find that during the sea days with nearly 3,000 people packed on board, my wireless, noise-cancelling headphones came in very useful, helping me to avoid too much noise. When you look like I do with them on, most people will do anything to avoid conversation with me or even getting in a lift with me. Which is fine by me, as I’m not really the most sociable of peeps.

(This is my happy face.)

Anyway, after two wonderful, relaxing days at sea, we arrived in Akureyri situated in the far north of Iceland. It was simply stunning. Not only had we been inside the Arctic Circle (the second time for us) to get there, we had also caught the phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun. This is also known as the Polar Day, where the sun is fully visible for 24-hours, day and night. This is a very strange sensation, and I was fascinated by it. This picture was taken after midnight:

The trip out and around Akureyri was fascinating and beautiful, despite a little rain and being overcast, I was surprised at how warm it was in early May. Amongst other things, we saw incredible landscapes, waterfalls, ancient houses made of turf, an ancient church and a botanical garden. The guide was witty, informative and really made the trip come alive!

The excursion around Akureyri wore both of us out. By the end of the day we were both in some pain and we decided there was no way either of us would be able to do the 9-hour excursion we had booked and paid for the next day, in Reykjavík.

Instead, once we arrived, I spent the day relaxing by the pool and took part in a paper airplane competition! This was much more fun than it sounds for an aerospace engineer and a nerd. Mrs Bob was in a lot of pain, so she rested in the cabin most of the day. We enjoyed some good food and even better wine and spectacular views even from the ship. I also managed to work on some new scribbles, which made me very happy.

Then, it was on to Lerwick, on the Shetland Isles. Once we had set sail, that evening was a silent disco and I had to check it out. This is a fascinating social experiment where a group of people, mostly intoxicated, wear headphones. They choose the music they want to listen to from three channels – 70s, 80s or 90s/00s. They then proceed to dance (and sing – loudly and tunelessly) the night away, much to the amusement of those people who are spectators and can hear their singing rather than the music! (Me at the silent disco)

The Shetlands are a fantastic place and, like the Faroe and Orkney Isles, were originally under the control of Denmark. In the case of Orkney and Shetland, this was until 1468, when King Christian of Denmark needed money to pay a dowry. He entered into a commercial contract on 8 September 1468 with the King of Scotland, James III, to whom he pawned his personal interests in Shetland & Orkney for 50,000 Rhenish. Unfortunately, when the Danes tried to settle the debt in 1549, 1550, 1558, 1560, 1585, 1589, 1640, & 1660, the Scots rejected each attempt and refused to give them back, thus causing them to remain under Scottish rule, which hasn’t changed since.

I went on a short coach trip down to southern Shetland, with no stops, and Mrs Bob wandered around Lerwick. We both had fabulous times and loved doing our own thing for a couple of hours, then sharing experiences after.

Once back on the ship it was time to set sail for Southampton, where our adventures had begun. The North Sea was incredibly calm and smooth – almost glass-like with such fog you couldn’t see off the ship at all. It was strangely eerie but also hypnotic. Mrs Bob sat on the balcony looking at it for ages!

We arrived at Soton docks at 0600 and we were up, packed and ready! We leapt into action and left the boat half an hour later to begin the 3-hour drive home. We collected Dog on our way… he was confused to see us and yowled loudly the whole way home, but he soon realised we were staying and he happily took up his favourite cuddle place on Mrs Bob’s lap, after scoffing a bowl of food faster than either of us had ever seen him eat.

All in all it was the trip of a lifetime for both of us. It was wonderful to spend two weeks together making wonderful memories – a real Bucket List experience for the two of us. A massive thank you goes out to Mrs Bob for single-handedly organising the whole thing for us. She is a gem…

Stay Safe X

All aboard – Part 1

I have just returned from what can only be described as the trip of a lifetime. A vacation so mahoosive that this blog can’t possibly do it justice? Challenge accepted….

We begin where all the great stories and some of the bad ones do, in a galaxy far, far away. No, wait… we began this trip by taking our housemate and Mrs Bob’s favourite animal, Dog, to his cat hotel. Much yowling and crying ensued … and that was just Mrs Bob. She’s become very attached to our furry little git bag AKA Dog. While she was struggling with this transition quite a lot. I was very grateful for my neurodiverse brain and its very logical way of thinking about things. That way I can compartmentalise it and not become affected by things like this.

This meant we had 24 hrs to finish packing and get ready to begin our adventures. So, the following morning, at dawn, we piled everything into the car and drove with a cheery song in our hearts to Southampton, even managing to grab a flying visit to an old friend on the way and also find gluten free pizza once we arrived at the docks. to climb aboard our floating home-from-home for the next two weeks, the Celebrity Silhouette. Two thousand other people had the same idea, though, and it was chaos getting aboard, but we were soon installed in our beautiful cabin.

The ship was massive – I mean really massive – compared to the last cruise liner we travelled on. As we were welcomed aboard with champagne and smiles, I suddenly became anxious about the size of the place and getting lost within the labyrinth of corridors and rooms. Fortunately, Mrs Bob was at hand to help me get my bearings alongside handy 3D maps (see below).

We eventually found our stateroom and decided to sit on the balcony while we awaited the arrival of our cases. After a bit of a rest, we had the usual safety evacuation drill thingy you have on every cruise. This was horrific, there’s no other word for it. Even Mrs Bob struggled. There were deafeningly loud tannoy announcements and strobe lights flashing everywhere, which was very difficult for me, as I felt very disoriented by it all. Fortunately, I had my bright mint green wireless noise cancelling headphones which helped me focus on the job at hand rather than stumbling round like a drunk university fresher. Those headphones became my signature accessory on the cruise and I was recognised for them… even getting comments about where they were if I didn’t wear them!

After this formality, we set sail for the first port of call – Guernsey – and it was time to begin exploring around the ship while Mrs Bob relaxed her back (which was not good after the long journey down etc). I was in full explorer mode by then, having relaxed a bit, and found my bearings. I started by searching for the pool area and, most importantly, the bar. I must stress that working in the licensed industry, I actually don’t drink very often, maybe one in a month, if that. Plus I’m allergic to beer, lager & Guinness, but I was on holiday and out to enjoy myself! I found several of the bars that were dotted around the ship, and once I had a rough map of the ship in my head, and easily found our cabin again, I felt confident in finding my way around the ship.

It was also handy that right next to our stateroom was The Hideaway – an area with lots of quiet pods, seats and a freshly-ground coffee machine, so I did what I do best “I drink (coffee) and I read things”. It was so peaceful sitting there and seeing our new neighbours finding their cabins, and watching the really impressive – beautiful looking- lifts whizz up and down the 15 decks to one side of me.

So began the start of two weeks rest & relaxation. And travel. Lots of travel.

To be continued….

Stay Safe X

What the Critics are Saying

Alexithymia by Author Bob Christian Reviewed by Realistic Poetry International

Author Bob Christian’s book, “Alexithymia,” the second published work of poetry we have had the opportunity of reading and reviewing, is a collection that represents the Author’s reflective state of mind surrounding a plethora of themes, concerns, and topics such as planet earth and our environment (18 Minutes), humanity and the remarkable power of words (Sticks & Stones), dreams and ambition (Visions; Impossible Dream), and helpful, constructive advice to assist others through life’s inevitable ups and downs (Stop).

A brief yet thorough collection, Author Bob Christian’s genuinely empathetic, bold, and harmonizing aura is nearly impossible to escape while reading the poems in this book, as he demonstrates a sincere and compassionate heart for humanity in addition to admitting the truth of all our differences, focusing greatly on who we are on the inside rather than our mortal external shell.

To amplify this thought, in one poem, “Grand Leveller,” Christian says;

“It’s not rich or poor, black or white. It’s the universal constant that binds us. The sooner we

realise this truth, the sooner we become true human beings.”

Views such as this are enlightening, and in a certain sense, tear down many barriers and walls that naturally cause division, separation, and in some cases, inequality, amongst us occupants of earth such as vices like racism, sexism, and/or other forms and types of discrimination.

A humble mind aged with experience and wisdom, we absolutely appreciate and respect this Author’s courage to be honest and imperfect throughout the poems in this edition, freely capable of admitting personal truth’s such as his blurry recollection of his time and days spent as a student in class saying,

“I had learnt nothing useful like how to file taxes, or fill in application forms, or balance finances, or buy a home (Eyes Down).”

Regardless of whether one personally agrees or not, the Author’s testimony is compelling and speaks for a multitude of individuals who may feel similar about their own experience in the school setting.

With the mention of student loans, college seems to be the Author’s center focus in this particular poem – essentially challenging the popular ideology of school being useful or beneficial to one’s future to the point where he says;

“Looking back at my time spent Sat up straight, with eyes down. The lessons I was taught back then, In all honesty, I’ve forgotten.”

Aware and discerning, Christian also takes time to focus on the importance of friendship in his poem entitled, “Friendship,” reminding us to understand and consider the value of a friend just as much as you do the unseen or ‘unfound’ value in a total stranger, supporting his view with the explanation that:

“a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. There’s more to life than where you are now.”

By this one line, alone, it is easy to see with our own eyes Author Bob Christian’s open and unbiased perspective, slightly atypical from some of the more reserved and traditional points of views of our world where judgement has no limits.

In addition to this, the poem offers advice from a realistic angle, respectfully cautioning us to beware of those who only call themselves a friend yet continuously hinder or attempt to weigh you down, which many can probably relate to in many different circumstances!

We enjoy reflective poems that convey wistful and sentimental accounts of past memories such as “Same Old Story” and “Tempera-Mental,” which use his own personal testimonies and experiences to compare an innocent child’s thoughts to a mature and experienced man (himself), who, since childhood, has come to understand the darkness of life saying,

“The darkness that resides inside

My soul; that long list of times… (Tempera-Mental)”

And, the inevitability of disappointment saying;

“When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be just like you.

Then I saw the truth, and gave up.

With this collection of poems including a steady mixture of emotionally-based poems focusing on self-esteem, confidence, choices, and mentality, plus other poems such as, “Wage Slave” and “Log Off,” which address social and political issues/trends, readers will have a great assortment of poems to transition between while reading, making it a diverse and well-rounded collection!

Bold, honest, and real, Author Bob Christian is one to tell it like it is and this book mirrors his brave heart, perfectly! And though some of his words may come off as a bit rigorous or severe, it is evident through his words and poetry just how much he truly cares about life, family, love, and people.

With this, we are glad to present this book with a 4-star rating and truly believe it is an expressively personal account to inform, inspire, and elevate.

Recharge the Soul

This weekend has been a very relaxing one in the Bob household. It was desperately needed after doing eight (very long) days straight at work. I literally had no plans as I just needed to unwind big time. This is mainly because with my job I have to “people” quite intensely for up to eleven hours a day. This can cause me to become really physically and mentally exhausted at points, due to the amount of effort it takes to work and socialise with customers, while staying focused on the job at hand.

So, I decided after a late night at work on Friday to have a lie in on Saturday morning. Well, that was the plan – it’s just a shame that Dog (our cat) didn’t get the memo and decided to wake us up at 2.15am and again at 5am, to announce that he had proudly brought us a gift. So I got up and did the usual small animal corpse removal, told him he’s a good boy through tired gritted teeth and tried to get back to sleep. I managed to sleep till about half eight, which is better than nothing I guess.

After our morning coffee, I decided I wanted to head up to Newton to trade in some computer games that I’d either completed or got bored with. This gave Mrs Bob and me a chance to do our own things in the town. She’s not a fan of game shops (long story) and I’m not a fan of looking around market food stalls, so we both win. We came home with a small haul, and decided to have a relaxing afternoon with a film. Mrs Bob chose, as I chose last time, with Clerks 2, so we watched Peggy Sue Got Married. It’s not my type of film, but I said I’d give it a go as Mrs Bob loves it, and it wasn’t actually that bad. After that, I caught up on some writing for my new project and played some computer games. The evening was spent watching The Goldbergs (we are on Season 3) and catching up on my podcast-listening while enjoying a nice hot bath.

On Sunday, Dog decided repeat his Fierce Hunter thing, except this time, it was a small piece of cloth he’d obviously “killed” outside and Mrs Bob found it when she got up to see what he was miaowing about. We had a relaxing morning in bed watching a new Ghost Adventures, a favourite show of ours, before getting up and going to our favourite beach, Broadsands, for a walk along the front. Even though the weather was very blowy and cold it didn’t matter as I was with my wife, and when we’re there, the rest of the world could cease to exist and I wouldn’t notice. If your phone was flat you’d find a plug socket to recharge it. When I’m drained I just need the sea or a river and Mrs Bob to totally recharge my soul.

After a great day together and a wonderful Sunday roast, we did what we do every Sunday evening, and video-called my eldest daughter, Mini Bob, and my granddaughter to catch up with her and see what’s new in their lives. Every time we talk to her, I’m reminded of how grown-up she’s become. She’s got her own place and is back at college working hard, all while raising a very cute (in my opinion) little baby on her own. We are so proud of her.

After this weekend, I feel refreshed, recharged and ready to face what the next week has to throw at me. So come on world, bring it ooooooonnnnnnn…………..

Stay Safe X

Rewind and Remix

As it’s world poetry day I decided to share a little something with you. This is from an idea I’ve had to rework some of my poetry. I was going to call the book the Remix Tapes. This is the remix of a piece called Cheer Up.
Cheer Up (2019)
I hear people every day saying 
Stupid shit, making no sense.
That makes me angry. Blood
Starts boiling when you say 
Cheer Up.
Why don’t you do this world 
A massive favour? Please don’t
Reproduce and clog the filter
On the fucking gene pool.
If I had a pound for the times
I’ve heard that ridiculous phrase
I’d be Bruce-Wayne-wealthy.
Could afford a therapist to fix me.
Hey! Why not use the same 
Messed up logic to tell a 
Paraplegic to just get off
His lazy ass and walk it off?
Thing is, you don’t know my
Story – what I’ve been through.
Those words can’t fix everything 
In my life or the lives of others.
If those words don’t work, what’s 
Next? A whispered word to a deity 
To raise me from this neurochemical
State of despair with magic words?
Maybe the answer is to go out – make
Friends. Hold aloft my shot glass.
Become my alter ego – that great
Social superhero Party Man.
The solution to this situation being
A cocktail of medication, instead of
Conversation about our situation…
Ultimately leading to devastation.  

Teenage Soundtrack

This week news broke of the death of Keith Flint – a musician whose group’s innovative mix of hardcore dance and punk angst filled my teenage years. The thing that hit me hardest was not the fact he had passed away, but the the fact he had taken his own life.

As a result of this, I want to talk about anxiety, depression and suicide, as it’s a very important subject. Crucial and still taboo. It’s something we need to take time and courage to talk about. I know that, as a man, I’m supposed to just suck it up, “man up” and whatever other ridiculous phrase people want to use. This attitude is one of the reasons that so many men are tragically feeling that their only option is suicide.

This is a very dark subject and one that we really need to start discussing, rather than brushing it under the carpet and pretending it doesn’t happen. The fact is that suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged between 20-49.  This is all males, not just autistic males, but in newly diagnosed autistic adults, over 60% reporting contemplating taking their own life.

There are many reasons why people get to this stage in their lives. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been to that place. I’m a suicide survivor and, as such, I know what it’s like to get to the point where it seems like death is the only option. This was many years before I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and, long story short, I was about to lose the roof over my head. I’m sure that no one really needs to know the ins and outs, but the fact is that, as a bloke, I felt that I couldn’t talk to my mates about it. I thought that people would think me weak, strange, or that they’d just walk away from me. I did attempt, but thankfully survived. Just.

Below are some of the issues (not all) that can lead to suicide.

Depression
It’s estimated that 20% of people will experience some form of depression at one point or another. Often, people who suffer from depression have difficulty in sharing their thoughts and feelings. This can be even harder for people like me, on the autism spectrum, as we can have difficulty in labelling, understanding and communicating our feelings.

Anxiety disorders
This is a particularly common theme among people on the autism spectrum.  It’s believed that 40% of autistic people suffer or have suffered from at least one form of anxiety disorder or another.

For me, things that a neurotypical person might take for granted can be a problem: answering a phone-call, or going to places like the supermarket and doctors, etc, can fill a person with autism with an almost crippling feeling of anxiety.

Here are some warning signs that a person may be at risk of suicide:

  • Excessive sadness or moodiness: Long-lasting sadness and mood swings can be symptoms of depression, a major risk factor for suicide.
  • Sudden calmness: Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.
  • Withdrawal: Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression. This includes the loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed.
  • Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
  • Dangerous or self-harming behavior: Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values their life.
  • Recent trauma or life crisis: A major life crisis might trigger a suicide attempt. Crises include the death of a loved one or pet, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, chronic pain, loss of a job, or serious financial problems.
  • Making preparations: Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home. Some people will write a note before committing suicide.
  • Threatening suicide: Not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it. However, every threat of suicide should be taken seriously.

 If you are feeling like you’re out of options please talk to someone. If you feel unable to talk to a friend, or your doctor, the Samaritans can help. If you don’t want to talk out loud, they will text you instead.

Samaritans UK

Call: 116 123

E mail: Jo@samaritans.org

 

The End is Nigh

I’m pleased to announce that the third instalment in the Asperger’s Poet collection finally hit the shelves last month, more than six weeks ahead of schedule. This is no mean feat, and this near-miracle has been achieved through lots of hard work, involving late nights, long hours and a little stress. Not for me, but my wonderful partner in mischief, Mrs Bob. For those of you who don’t know, Mrs Bob is a professional proofreader and has the unenviable task of trying to decipher my scribbles and turn them into something that makes sense. She deserves a lot of credit for all her hard work.

“So why the dramatic blog title?” I hear you ask. Well, I didn’t hear you ask, but I guess at least one of you is wondering what it has to do with this post. Allow me to retort, this is my third book of original poetry and I’m not planning on putting out a new poetry book now for the foreseeable future. I am, however, going to remix and improve some of my best-loved scribbles into a “greatest hits” remix at some point in the future.

I am now working on a ‘serious’ factual book on a subject very dear to me. This is a very different direction for me, and it’s going to take up a lot of my time for a while. Rest assured, I will still write the odd scribble, but they will take a back seat while I work on this exciting new project.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being a part of this crazy ride whether behind the scenes, or by showing me love, right down to the banter I have with you guys. Hopefully, some of you will like my new factual book, once it’s complete.

Stay Safe X

The (not so) Mighty

I recently came across an article saying that The Mighty has apparently partnered up with the group controversial group Autism Speaks (AS).

I have been an occasional contributor to The Mighty, and I have also shared a number of articles from them on my various social media platforms, which might have, in turn sent people to their website.

I’m hoping that people who read this article will do some research, and come to their own conclusions. But I also feel that I need to have a discussion of some kind with the founders of The Mighty about my concerns about this partnership.

I’m aware just how much site traffic The Mighty gets from parents looking for answers to day-to-day issues regarding their children with autism. However, as I am someone who is on the autism spectrum (or neurodivergent), and someone who has contributed to their site, I cannot hide my disappointment, or that I find the partnership with AS both disgusting and unsettling.

AS has referred to autistic children as a burden! Their approach has consistently been one of ‘fixing’ the autistic individual, thus helping the patent of a disabled child relieve their ‘burden’. Instead of seeing that autism is not a burden, and helping autistic individuals to grow, learn and develop. AS may not be hell-bent on a ‘curing’ Autism anymore, but they aren’t exactly encouraging parents to nurture their children and celebrate their differences, as parents should.

AS also refuses to do much of anything to help autistic young adults and adults.

I’m hoping that people will take note of this particular partnership between The Mighty and Autism Speaks and spread the word. I have many of my blog posts and poems that I would share but I can longer in good conscience share my work with The Mighty when they partner with an organisation that preaches a eugenics policy. I cannot support that.

I’m sure The Mighty has suffered from, and will continue to suffer from this kind of PR nightmare, and will undoubtedly bounce back. I’m hopeful that if enough contributors and members of the autism community take a stand and raise their voices, that The Mighty might take note of us and end this disastrous partnership and support the autistic community properly.

Stay Safe X

Coming Soon!

The proof copy of my next anthology is finally here. All that remains is to get Mrs Bob to make sure it’s as it should be then it’ll be on sale.

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