Autistic Consultant & Independent Researcher, Wenn, leading by example to empower autistic individuals and promote quality co-produced research

Growing Up

"Wenn appears to be almost incapable of doing as he is told" The report went on "...he must learn to have the right things at the right time e.g. 'a pen' "Wenn must GROW UP!" These words are taken from my Year Seven School Report. Just a few years later I was said to be 'suffering with schizophrenia'. In some ways the medication was useful and at times it curbed my anxiety. What it didn't do was explain social interaction, the 'usual' rules of what it means to be human.

School was a nightmare! I was so easily caught away with life's interruptions. It might have been a child coughing, a bus passing by on the road outside, a bird singing, or simply my own thinking trying to work out words from a previous conversation. I couldn't organise either myself, or my time. I knew that I didn't 'fit' anywhere. Even when I tried to talk to my peers, somehow my words only compounded the issue. My father once said to me "make friends Wenn". I knew how to make a rice pudding, I even knew how to make my dog sit, but I had no idea how to make friends!