Thursday 3 January 2008


I have just played what is most probably my last game of Guitar Hero 3.  Certainly on Career Mode that is.  Because I have come to one major realisation, and it has been brewing in my mind for several years now.

I cannot play video games.

I try and try and try to play these things, and the same thing always happens.  Every single time.  I get to a point, then I can't get any further and I end up feeling frustrated with the whole thing.  

So today I am bringing an end to it.  I am flat out refusing and boycotting games like these.  Game with a very specific way of playing.  Games where you either win or lose, and there is no other outcome.  Why?  Because they're not made for people like me.  I simply cannot do it.  I lack the hand eye co-ordination to jump through these hoops.  And why should I PAY to be made to feel that I am not as good as someone else who has posted their video of them acing it in one go on YouTube?  

I had to have a "Guitar Battle" against Slash.  And I couldn't do it.  I tried really hard, but I just couldn't do it.  And to rub salt into the wound, I get booed for not being able to do it.  And after being booed 5 times in a row, I felt just about ready to cry.  So thank you publishers of Guitar Hero 3.  Thank you for making me feel as low as the bullies did at school.  

I was going to ask for Excite Truck and a Steering Wheel for my birthday...I don't think I will bother now.

Thursday 27 December 2007

I do not have a deficiency!

One of the most frustrating things about having an Austistic Spectrum Disorder is that people make assumptions.  I get it at work a lot, because someone I work with suspects her child has a form of Autism, and every few weeks she asks "What are your symptoms?"

Therein lies the problem.  To me, I have no "symptoms".  I do not "suffer" from Autism.  It's the norm to me.  When I read, my field of vision disappears pretty much by 90%, I don't properly see the words, but I can read, because they fuel what I can see.  Not newspapers or information at work.  It has to be engrossing, and funnily, preferably fiction.  A famous Autistic person, Daniel Tammet said in his book Born On A Blue Day that he prefers non fiction to fiction, but although his book gave me the same "DVD Vision" that fiction does, it's because I connected.  When I buy fiction, I don't buy romance novels, or spy novels.  They don't interest me, I can't connect, I get no DVD Vision, ergo the book bores me.

This brings me to the point of this entry.  I don't have a deficiency.  However, I do enjoy playing poker online.  And I found a new site called CD Poker today.  I had some business dealings with them a few years ago, nothing really came of it, but I tried them again today.  Part way through a game I was informed that my account had been suspended, and that I had to call them to unsuspend it.  So, I e-mailed them and explained that the reason I hadn't answered their calls is because my phone line goes straight to answerphone.  I don't actually use the phone, spoken word comes across badly for me.  I do far better using the written word.  To the point where when I had a moderately successful business, all my business was conducted via fax and e-mail, despite the company I was dealing with preferring phone calls.  Anyway, I digress.  So I get an e-mail back from CD Poker telling me that they need me to phone their security department to verify my account.  Yay.  I cannot tell you how much that fills me with dread.  Seriously.  Security department?  But then I got angry.  I will quote their e-mail:

"May we then request you to provide us a good call back number and the best
time to reach you. We understand that 1your deficiency might hinder with your
communication capabilities but our phone verification will only ask you to
verify your account details and 2will not take much of your time."

1: I DO NOT HAVE A DEFICIENCY!  In the UK, we provide reasonable assistance for those with disabilities.  This extends to compassion.  I offer you a reasonable alternative, but you say no.  You are hugely out of order saying I have a "deficiency" (only way I could would be you knowing I have a possible Omega 3 deficiency in my brain) or you are stereotyping me and saying I have a mental deficiency.  I have an IQ of 180.  A photographic memory (when film is loaded) and I can do things which when I describe them, leave neurotypical people open mouthed in awe.  I DO NOT HAVE A DEFICIENCY!

2: That's actually quite a gramatically poor ending.  Little of your time would be better.  I believe "not take much" borders on being a double negative.  Very poor grammar from someone whose job it is to type memos to customers.

Rant over.  I am done.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Colour blindness

Recently, both in my life and in the press, I have seen a lot of racism. One of the newspapers on Sunday morning said:

"Labour donor was FOREIGN"

Apparently at work on Friday, our Polish supervisor said to Caroline:

"You are blind because you are English"

Now, this I cannot understand. The way I look at the world, I believe, is different from most people. I don't see colours, races, anything. I see people. Just like me. I suppose because my emotions are actually based on what I've seen others do (other than laugher or sadness) I can't really connect with them, but this actually gives me an edge. Because I can't connect with them, or prejudge them, I am forced to base how I feel about them from what I learn about them. There are one or two exceptions to this. One being Albinos. I automatically like Albino people. One comes into my store most weekends and I think he thinks I am odd, but I find him fascinating. All his hair is white. Not just on his head. His eyebrows, his arm hair, all of it. Pure white. I'm not attracted to him, because I don't find men attractive, but I find the hair beautiful. It's like it's...pure. When I hear "white" I see a snowscape. Maybe it has something to do with that.

The other people I find fascinating are people with ginger hair. They are truely remarkable in my eyes. Not only is their hair colour significantly different from normal, but they often have freckles, which I adore. Also, they often have green eyes or deep blue eyes. The whole look takes my breath away. I must admit I am naturally attracted to redheads (despite my fiancee being a brunette!) But then my fiancee also had freckles, which just fascinate me entirely.

But other people, I have no connection with. None at all. Every person I meet I start with a blank slate. If they wrong me, then obviously I form a negative opinion of them. But if they understand me, are nice to me, and don't do anything bad to me, then I form very good opinions of them. Regardless of gender, race, origin, colour, whatever.

One great example of this is a regular in my store. Now, he has tattoos all over him, including one skull tattoo. He is tall, and he has a shaved head. Most people would avoid him, but his skull tattoo fascinated me, so I began talking to him. He is a really nice person. Preconceptions appear a lot, from what I can tell in Neurotypical life, but if this had happened with me, I would never have gotten to know this nice person.

In conclusion, I guess I am saying that maybe, despite the press calling Autism an "epidemic", people could actually maybe benefit from some of the ways we see the world...

Monday 3 December 2007

Airports and Autism

First, I just want to apologise to Andy (a regular reader of my other blog) who couldn't comment on this blog.  This has now been fixed.

It has been 3 days since I landed in the UK from my holiday in Gran Canaria, and I wanted to write a short piece about how airports make me feel. And more importantly, how location plays a role in how I feel.

When I left the UK, I had to put all my things in a plastic tray, have them scanned, and then be patted down to make sure I had nothing dangerous on me. Now, this wasn't helped by the fact that the two men at security both looked angry, which doesn't put me at ease, because I immediately think I've done something wrong, which I know I haven't. And I hate the pat downs, because it's someone I don't know touching me. A lot. And I can't complain about it because otherwise they will think I am guilty of something. I really don't like going through the UK security checks because of these things. Also, they wanted to check the soles of my shoes, which meant me standing on one leg, which I can't do very well.

Now, in Gran Canaria (A Spanish owned island) things are different. We had to queue for plastic trays to put our things in, but I forgot that, and put my bag in it. The security woman told me very calmly and nicely that it wasn't for my bag, it was for my watch, and anything in my pocket. When it came to checking my stuff, they didn't even get angry when my friend's coat got stuck in the rollers, instead they helped him. The whole thing made me feel totally at ease, whilst still making me feel secure.

Their checks were no less thorough than in the UK, they still metal dectected us, but instead of pat downs, they used handheld metal detectors. And instead of looking angry, they were helpful. I didn't feel scared, or worried, or nervous in Gran Canaria, but the UK immediately makes you feel scared that maybe they'll think you're a terrorist because of something you might unconsciously do.

Wednesday 28 November 2007


Being in a country where the language all around you isn´t yours, and a lot of the time you don´t know what it means is actually pretty interesting for me. I love words, and I love the images they make in my mind when I hear them. And oddly, it doesn´t change when the language isn´t mine. Plus, I find myself thinking that a lot of the words in Spanish make sense compared to English words. I´ll give an example:

English: Bad
Spanish: Mal

This makes perfect sense to me. Why wouldn´t it be Mal? We have Mal-practice, mal-suit, mal-nutrition, of course it would be Bad. There are a few other words which fit this too. Of course, it helps that I speak French, and I can sometimes see the French words in Spanish. Like Bien.

Well, just my two cents on the language all around me and in my ears at the moment. Makes me want to learn Spanish properly this time when I get home. Maybe I will...


Tuesday 27 November 2007

Holiday Autism

So, as this is an Autistic perspective Blog, I wanted to write something about my perspective when it comes to holidaying. What you all may percieve as something normal, ordinary, and commonplace is a whole world of excitement for me!

I have a very very good long term memory, and a poor short term memory. It means, I cannot remember clearly what I ate last night, but I can remember the people from here last year as clearly as a normal person remembers yesterday. And that really freaks people out!

A prime example is Les from last year. I go to this very cool bar called La Fiesta (in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, The Commercial Centre. Check it out) and she used to work there last year. Now, she came into La Fiesta last night and was chatting with my friend Antonio who has worked at the bar since year dot. I remembered her, despite only seeing her a total of 6 nights. She remembered me, but really doubted I would remember her. Of course I remembered her. I got into a drinking contest with her, and won (she had to stop, and she was sick the next day. I went out on a daytrip with a clear head...) But you know, it kinda freaked her out! She didn´t expect me to remember her.

Then there are the sights. Flowers I don´t see in England, and as I am a tactile person, I touch them. The way the water leaves patterns across the pool. The different colours in the clouds at the different times of day. All these things are exciting to me. Even the feel of the water. I don´t swim at home (bad experiences in communal changing rooms) but here I can. And I do. And it´s great! Not that I am very good at swimming, but I can swim for a bit, twist and turn in the water, feel the resistance of the water against my skin. All lovely to me, and somewhat juvenile to the people watching at the poolside. An almost 30 year old man kicking in the water like a kid.

And the food. I will admit, as a smoker (bad I know) I can´t taste as much, but, what I can taste, it goes way above what I get at home. Last night I had roast duck in fruits of the forest sauce, and without exagerating, it was orgasmic. Presisely the same feelings inside as when know! Same with the little praline chocolates we had. And I even had afternoon tea today! So odd. There I am, in 28 degree heat, overlooking beautiful sea views, drinking a nice (if odd tasting) cup of tea, and eating a couple of slices of fruit and nut sponge. I loved it. Simply because it was an everyday experience in an unconventional location. I am not even sure if the experience compares in the "normal" world. Comment and let me know if you get the same pleasures I do from just doing something normal, in a place you wouldn´t very often do so.

So, that is all. I was just looking over the balcony of my room and thinking I should blog about how holidays make me feel. And sorry for not blogging more. Had to work the week before I went on holiday. Didn´t like that. Disrupts the routine I have. But ho hum.

Adios amigos!

Tuesday 20 November 2007

First post of the new blog

So, this blog is about life through the eyes of an autistic guy. It might help people see things from our point of view. It might not. Who knows.

One major problem I have, and I know a lot of others have is eye contact. It seems that normals thrive on this. I get such odd reactions from people when I won't look at them. I was in Asda (think Wallmart if you're in the US) and just buying some sandwiches and a packet of sweets, and the woman behind the checkout reacted like I was either a terrorist or an alien just because I was busily looking at the mobile phone store across the street rather than paying her attention. Same happened at the two games stores I was in today. Both thought I was acting so oddly just because I wouldn't look at them, and was interested in other things around the store other than them!

Then there is the other problem I have. Wandering attention. Right now I am posting this in a cyber cafe in Southampton, and I happened to look at the screen of the guy next to me. He was on Youtube, and the people dancing on the video interested me. Now, he glared at me, and won't stop sneaking peeks at me. I hate that. I kind of understand why, but...him looking at me makes me feel nervous. Not that he intimidates me, but I just don't like people looking at me.

Reminds me of a t-shirt I really must get from Cafepress. It's got "I'm Autistic. Don't worry, I THINK YOU'RE WEIRD TOO!" written on it. I love it. I also like the one that says "Keep staring, I may do a trick" written on it. Lastly, the other one I like is a hat that has arrows pointing left and right, and in the middle it says "I'm with Neurotypical"

Anyway, think I am done for now. Time to go find a cup of coffee at Starbucks in this noisy, dirty, impolite city.

Oh, and thanks to Andy at for inadvertently giving me the idea for this blog. He mentioned that I was Autistic, but my other blog ( was not about Autism. Kinda gave me the idea of creating a seperate blog which IS about my Autism! So thank you.

Right! Coffee! And maybe a chocolate brownie. Because I am not a gluten free Autistic. Not into fad diets.