Andy's Blog

An ongoing series of informative entries

Blog No.1

I wasn't sure how to start this all, so began with a rabbit or two. I thought it would be best just talking about things around me, the book and policing in general; so here goes. Do let me know what you think and what if anything you would like to see.

It was a no-brainer for me at 19yrs old to join the best job in the world (and I honestly mean that) and was mightily surprised that they wanted me too. I had no idea that I was autistic back then, so everything was difficult which has since been explained by a hard fought diagnosis. It doesn't define who I am but does make it a lot easier to understand why and what I do on a daily basis; well to a certain degree anyway. 

The book came directly from all of that stuff I did at work, in the disability arena and a desire to genuinely want to help people. This was truly the overriding drive. There are still those who say autistic people are heartless or soulless, which couldn't be further from the truth. I always wanted to help people, any people and the police force enabled me to do that. I wanted to explain in writing how with only a few tweaks, any vulnerable person (not just autistic) could be assisted by the book. It is merely a minor change in the policing mindset which can achieve this, and from the feedback I have received so far, I feel I have succeeded. 

Policing is a minefield at the best of times but with all of the present problems has become a nightmare. Where once a level head and a kind word was all that was required to solve a situation, a pandemic adds a real element of imminent danger. A thought must be spared for those giving their lives (literally) to save and protect us all. Stay safe all on the thin blue line. 


Our Second Blog Entry

I was stuck at first for where to go when writing a second blog. The first was easy as it was an introduction but this one had to be more considered.

During lockdown, things in life have become more crystallised for many people and from what I have read, the neurodiverse community have felt it as keenly, if not more.

There are autistic people who have simply used it to re-catalogue their lives (some literally) as they dwell in ‘lockdown’ on a daily basis and apart from shopping being more problematic, things have not changed much. However, on the flipside, many who experience anxiety acutely, the lockdown period has simply compounded their fears to such a point that life has become almost unbearable.

Autism presents in so many different ways that documenting it is impossible, each of us find difficulty or pleasure uniquely. It will be argued that this is the same for neurotypicals and this is true; to a point. I have observed a ‘herd’ mentality with NTs where they will adopt or vocalise a conformative view (on the surface at the very least) which matches that of their contemporaries on most subjects, tv, music etc. This is not true of the autistic people I know.

They often are labelled (personally experienced) as all liking, doing, watching or eating the same things, when nothing could be further from the truth. Where a uniform admiration for sci-fi or fantasy literature is quoted as the ‘norm’, if the blanket statement is gently pushed aside, you will see absolute divisions exist in all genres. Autistic people far from being uninformed or unopinionated will have eloquent theses about their favourite subject matters if you are willing to engage with them.

So, if a daily activity is denied to the autistic person, coping strategies may well be missing and building new ones impossible. Some of us live in a perpetual state of anxiety where any further stress causes the body to shut down until we are capable of re-engaging. This is often termed as a meltdown, a phrase which I personally hate due to the negative connotations. I have struggled to invent another definitive word to describe it but have settled on Environmental Impact Factors (EIF). Not a catchy phrase I grant you, but this is exactly what causes such a reaction or lack of it (as no reaction can be just as worrying) – the environment the autistic person is in.

Good or bad can be equally impactive. Happiness can be an overwhelming emotion which NTs often dismiss as it is seen as such a positive situation how could anyone be uncomfortable with it? We can and often are. Give us some space and a safe place to speak about it and we may do just that.

Why pick this subject to blog about? Because it is important to explain how autistic people are thinking and feeling at the best of times and this is not the best of times. I wanted to give a small insight into our world and be honest about it, as I always try to be (sometimes too honest, but that is a whole different blog).

I will end this around here now if that is ok? For everyone in this immensely strange time please take especially good care of your mental health during lockdown and if in doubt talk to someone about it if unsure. To all, stay safe.


 Coming soon Blog 3. 

Coming soon, the third blog from ABC.