Index to autobiography

   
My Schooldays Childhood
Court Jester to Warwick University University
A time of transition A time of transition
My new life My new life
My life as a carer, and a very special day! My life as a carer
Coventry Council of Disabled People and its role in my life Campaigning
Beyond my mothers departure my mothers departure
Beyond diagnosis Beyond Diagnosis
Study and the NAS Study and the NAS
Seven times Seven 7 times 7

Pictures of me

Pictures of me

Where I grew up

Where I grew up (pix)
   
 

Living with Asperger's syndrome, by Larry Arnold


Study and the National Autistic Society


Now that most of my current news goes on my
blog updates to my website are not that frequent and I suppose the time has come to relate the years in my life that have passed since I became a student at Hereward College.

The study first.

As I related in the previous section, my depression lifted with the embarcation on a course of full time study

I thought that an Access TV and Video course would expand my horizons after photography and computer graphics, and although an experienced photographer it was all new to me, indeed I did not even know properly how to switch a video camera on and off when I began, however I soon found that I was a natural in this medium as it gave knew scope to my creativity and allowed me to integrate both still photography with graphics and animation with music and sound.

At the same time I continued my photography and undertook an AS level in Psychology by evening class at Henley College. (which was nearer to home)

Subsequently I did rather well on the Access course, completing it in a year, whilst most of my contemporaries were doing it in two. The opportunity was there to continue onto an HND course just being established and I took it although I was aware I did not have the funds to pay the fees at the time. Fortunately funding was found and I came out with distinctions all round, a real sense of achievement for the first time, I just wish my parents could have been alive to see my graduation as I felt finally vindicated academically.

Of course I did not stagnate at this point, during that time I completed my A level in Psychology (having switched to yet another college) and in the second year embarked on a University distance learning course at the University of Birmingham in Autistic Spectrum disorders, confident that I could handle anything academically simultaneously.

That was a real challenge to me in many ways, firstly because it was not intended for autistic people themselves so I felt I had something to prove, and secondly it was an expence I had to justify being unable to get help with the fees this time.

As of this year, I obtained the qualification, which brings me to what else had been happening in my life during the college years?

The National Autistic Society

Back in the year 2000, I decided to find out what the National Autistic Society was all about and joined. I attended my first AGM at Nottingham and was very nervous, I did succeed in asking a question however - about what role there was for people like me in the organisation, little did I know at the time that I would be the answer to my own question, for later that year as a result of friends I had made on the internet, I was able to be nominated onto the NAS Council.

Now I never expected to be elected because I did not think I had the requisite background for it nor did I know how the membership would react to my rather forthright statements about wanting to cut the gordian knot in my approach, however I was wrong and I was elected, only the third person on the autistic spectrum.

As for the trials and tribulations of being there, that is another story, but the opportunity came my way to get deeply involved in the governance review and to put forward what I had learnt in all those years campaigning with my mum "nothing about us without us" you can read my manifesto for change here or click on the picture.

However after two years on the Council I feared there was a glass cieling for any one with an autistic condition, that we could be accepted on the Council but not at the topmost level. Nonetheless I stood for the board on two occasions and on the second, against my pessimistic expectations succeeded.

I guess I had a lot to prove, and still have, for one thing although I believe that we have a natural right to be there in the leadership of the NAS, I also believe that we should be there on merit and that I had to prove that not only do I have the knowlege of autism from the inside and the experience of autistic advocacy but the abilities to run an organisation which was a degree of magnitude bigger than anything else I had ever been involved in.

I think I have succeeded I am nobody's token.

Indeed since I embarked on this history of myself back when I was diagnosed in 1999 I have come along way and have changed and grown as I have become more confident in my abilities and personality. Partially this has been through my increased self knowlege and meeting other people on the autistic spectrum, but also I believe because this is what our Lord wants for me to do. Another significant factor in my personal growth was my baptism and many people have remarked about the changes they have seen in my outlook since.

So where am I today? Ever standing on new thresholds. I have a video where you can see me as I was a couple of years ago. That is also a first and there are hopefully more to follow which I am presently working on.

My studies have continued in new directions, I have taken up painting and am pursuing studies in music technology which enhance my video skills, the midi on this site being one composition.

I am approaching my fifth decade, and am seven times seven as I write this, where next?

 

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Seven times Seven

 

Copyright 2005 - 2011 Laurence Arnold

This page created Friday 1st July 2005
Revised Sunday 5th October 2008

Latest Revision Monday January 17th 2011