I'm one of the relatively lucky ones - I'm articulate, I managed to work for about twenty-six years and became a successful published author; but the hard and terrible lesson I learnt along the way is that there is a crude and xenophobic core of creatures in our society who care nothing for others and turn on anyone perceived to be different.
It is a terrible thing to lose one's faith in one's country, and if I'd not been asked the independence question I might well have kept quiet about it, but I don't want to be queried in future days about what I did during the debate and have to reply, "well, I didn't want trouble so I just kept my head down."
Professionals are confused as to what diagnostic tool to use. They believe that the whole diagnostic system is not clear. They state that the NHS recognise and should use the ICD-10 diagnostic tool but that professionals within the NHS 'state they diagnose to what the DSM-V states and often misunderstanding what is within it.'
The reality is that most parents just want their children to fit in, to be socially acceptable, thrive at school and yes, be 'normal'. The idea that any difficulties might be due to a labelled syndrome, or 'special needs', is a frightening prospect for most. So, how can you tell if your child is 'normal'?
Just the other day, Anonymous of Ontario slipped a letter beneath the door of Karla Begley, mother of an autistic son called Max, and told Mrs Begley (among other things) that "you have a kid that is mentally handicapped ... they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science ...
Jacob, like me, has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. He is 14 whereas I am 48, and although I openly admit I was born in another era when autism was much less understood, I fear the road to realizing an Asperger's true potential (in my case, creative writing, I can't add up for toffee) will be neither simple nor straightforward.
Sometimes I ask myself whether there really is a fate or destiny to things, and it's hard to be sceptical when, three years later, I find myself (along with James Doherty of the National Autistic Society Scotland), not in Hollywood, but on a Scottish street late one Sunday night meeting Joss Whedon.