Who am I & Why did I start this website?
My name is Gary and I am a retired maths teacher.
At the suggestion of my GP, and after a long struggle to get assessed, I was finally diagnosed with autism at the age of 53.
I suppose I'm not unusual but I found the diagnosis came as a bit of a shock. In an attempt to look for answers I immediately started to search for some kind of help with my diagnosis. I was lucky that I had a superb GP to help me with this. He suggested websites to investigate and some possible organisations for me to contact.
As good as these websites were, I found that the majority of the advice/support primarily dealt with children who have autism and offered advice to parents/teachers on how to 'cope' or deal with the child's autism. In my experience if there was advice, for or about adults, it tended to be directed towards those who required some kind of support with their daily lives. I contacted some organisations such as Scottish Autism and to give them credit they were very happy to listen to what I had to say. They were also honest enough to say that for 'high functioning' individuals like myself they couldn't really offer much in the way of support, but they did put me in touch with a local organisation (Fife One Stop Shop - FOSS).
FOSS was able to offer separate courses for both myself and my wife for people who had recently been diagnosed with autism. The courses were well structured and explained many things for me and my wife ....... A quote from my wife "It wasn't a case of how many things on a list I could tick to indicate you were autistic, but rather how many I didn't!" 🙂
Although attending the course answered some of my immediate questions it also raised many others. It was at this point it became really apparent how limited the support for 'high functioning' adults like myself really was. Specialist psychological support from the NHS for example, if you can find any, has a waiting list of 2 years in my area! I was extremely fortunate however that I could find appropriate psychological support through a private provider.
I also 'attended' an online conference for autistic individuals called 'Autscape'. Listening to one of the speakers at this conference ,a member of Autistic Doctors International, gave me the inspiration for this site. They are an organisation who describe themselves as 'An informal group of autistic medical practitioners with an interest in supporting each other and raising awareness of autism in medicine'.
I therefore had the thought why can't I produce a site that will allow autistic teachers to support one another. Why teachers you may ask, well it was my profession and I feel I may possibly have some knowledge in that area. Of course if the site proves useful to other teachers then it may be possible to expand it in the future, but for now I think teaching is probably a big enough area, 🙂