“When you’re with someone, really be with them, really be present, really listen to the words that are leaving their mouth, because those words can be gold dust. And you could be looking back on a conversation in 10 years’ time going, oh I really needed to hear those words.”
“I saw language therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, I think I saw every therapist there is in this world at the age of 10, when all you’re trying to do is grow up and be a child. It was heartbreaking. I thought: why am I having to go through this? Why nobody else in my family? Why me?”
The TA said to me ‘Ben, don’t bite other people. If you need to bite something then bite yourself.’ And, in that sense, they were effectively telling me that self harming was better than having a meltdown. That stuck with me and that affected me [for] years afterwards where I would still sometimes bite myself if I was angry with myself and I was inflicting the pain from them onto myself.” What is particularly distressing is that all of this occurred with the teachers knowing that Ben had autism. But, despite being aware of his condition, they were completely unequipped to manage it.
“I dreamt up a system of getting one of those backpacks that you put a kid in, and I fastened it onto the front of the chair, and just dropped them into that, so that I could still wheel the chair, and you know, be responsible for taking the other kids to school.”
Living with Fibromyalgia This episode of Our Voices introduces Issy, a woman who is living with Fibromyalgia. She has a powerful imagination but has struggled
“I used to drive the OT mental because I used to have grapes for breakfast and then chase a grape around the bowl for about three quarters of an hour and she’d be like “Please give up.” And I wouldn’t.”
Clare’s parents were told that there was no point in their daughter pursuing any academic or vocational qualifications as there would be no space for her in the workplace. Instead, the headteacher said it would be better for Clare to be kept busy as a space was found for her in residential care.
“I absolutely love it when I hear that people have been inspired to take a solo trip by themselves after having read the book… because I know firsthand how powerful it can be to have that first experience on your own.”
“I was so excited about it. I was running up to people in the department that had no knowledge of what I was doing and saying, I’ve got this great discovery! I’ve discovered this thing and I’ve done some wonderful experiments and look at the results! … Seeing results that nobody had seen before and coming up with this theory that nobody had come up with before, it was empowering. It was exciting. I loved it.”