I’ve been running Inspired by Autism for almost 5 years now. I enjoy the challenge and the modest success achieved. I love talking to people and audiences about autism and I love the peer support that has developed among a wonderful group of people living with autism in Cowal. I do it simply because I believe in small ways I can improve life now and in future for my precious boy and others like him. It’s preferable to the feeling of helplessness and failure that all parents of disabled children experience much of the time.

Lots of my time and effort is spent in another darker place though. That place is a hinterland that exists between the artificial world of government and regional policy, adorned with wonderful titles, half truths and plain lies, and the daily lives of people and families who live with challenges that the privileged could not imagine. These challenges often occur in the pursuit of very basic human rights. The stench of hypocrisy lingers in the hinterland, as opportunistic individuals seek to further their reputation and that of their masters. Devious but weak legislation and policy give a veneer of respectability that covers the real agenda of remaining in power and enjoyment of privileges. It’s a dangerous place to make a challenge as reputations are staunchly and robustly protected by the power that governments, politicians and local authorities are able to wield. The unleashing of such power ruins lives and crushes those who are not prepared to tow the party line or to go along with the pretence that all is rosy in the garden. It’s frequently a lonely and arduous place to be. It is a place that regularly drains you of hope and belief in your fellow man and in the creation of a society in which we actually care about each other. It is a place where you cannot win and where you measure success in terms of damage limitation and incremental improvements for people.
This hinterland is not a place that is good for your health and wellbeing. I choose to come and go from it as I see necessary but for so many these days there is no revolving door.


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