‘Increasingly I feel that we live in a world where it is ok to be different whether that is race, culture, ethnicity, gender or health condition when it suits people in power, who may be our boss at work, our doctor or someone who feels they can take advantage of us in some way’. ‘Difference then is something to be celebrated and applauded because we have a use to them, be it for economic gain, career progression or simply so they look better than someone else within their circle of friends and associates’. ‘I say this as an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome’. ‘When I am of use to someone then my Asperger’s is remembered, my inability to think flexibly is remembered, my inability to understand non-verbal communication is remembered and my other attributes that make me different to a neurotypical person are remembered’. ‘However as soon as I am of no use to them I am told to learn to think like a neurotypical person, modify my behaviour, be less and less different and to fit in with society and live unnoticed, indifferent, uniform as others do’. ‘Difference it seems is only to be celebrated when it suits people in power, not when it makes you the person who you are’.
Andrew Smith – 10th May 2014