Gemma Whitwell is a student at Barnsley College, doing a journalism course, and she asked me if she could do a piece on me. I said it was okay by me... she seemed fascinated by stuff from this site, and that seemed good to me. She did two pieces for her course, which are included here, and she wishes to do a personal work later on, and she hopes that it will do better justice to my story than was allowed by the word limits that college imposed. I have put censorship on the following pieces, because I am investigating legal proceedings against certain public bodies. The facts of the story had to be bent in order to get the best names in, so do understand that when you read. And she still tells the story good!
This first piece is the news article that Gemma had to write in 300 words or less. I think she did well...
Local Barnsley man, David Andrews of ****** Road, Barnsley, has recently set about an investigation into the conduct of certain local bodies concerning the diagnosis of a condition that has haunted him since birth.
Autism, although affecting four in ten thousand children, is limited in information and often brushed under the carpet by professionals who can help the sufferers. David's condition emerged at the age of ten months, with a massive epilepticfit, and the withdrawal from the world around him that followed. After a series of other symptoms, a psychiatrist made a tentative diagnosis of schizophrenia when David was thirteen, and prescribed neuroleptic drugs that made him a "zombie".
It wasn't until 1996, when David was researching autism, that he recognised the symptoms of the condition as his own. His thoughts were recently seconded by Digby Tantam, a Clinical Professor of Psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield, who said that it was obvious that David had not developed schizophrenia but Asperger Syndrome - an autistic spectrum condition. However, the psychiatrist who confirmed David's own diagnosis denied that he is autistic... but stated that he is "suffering from Asperger Syndrome".
It is this lack of involvement, responsibility and the denial of and by Barnsley social services, health and education authorities that has lead David towards taking legal action. It is an unselfish plea on David's account for the truth as he is worried that there are adults and parents of children with autism who still do not have diagnoses because of the continued denial of the social, health and education services in Barsnsley that autism is a real problem. These bodies say that there are no autistic children in the Borough. David sets out to prove them wrong.
This next piece of work is a character study made by Gemma as part of her course work. This was quite an experience to be interviewed for!
David Andrews has an inability to describe his personal attributes and finds self appraisal difficult. He is studious and intellectual, but also vulnerable. David has recently been diagnosed as autistic at the age of 35.
He is a passionate musician and his guitar is his means of escape from the frightening abusive world around him. Relationships are difficult for David. At 35 years of age, he has had only two adult relationships, but it has become obvious that his vulnerability was exploited in an abusive way that makes him reluctant to enter relationships now.
From my perspective David is very intelligent, caring, giving and has a brilliant sense of humour. I have never met anybody with so much determination. His life has been a mixture of feeling different and cut off from society around him, because nobody cared to admit that he is autistic. His determined and unselfish attitude of getting the truth from the ******* authorities about his condition, and why is wasn't detected for 35 years, creates a strong, likeable character. However, under this exterior, there is now a scared and somewhat untrusting man who feels betrayed by the people who could have helped him with his autism, if only they had listened a long time ago.
This work is copyright 1997 by GEMMA WHITWELL, Group K, Journalism course, Barnsley College, Barnsley, Yorkshire, U.K.
There is an unfortunate point to make here. The case I was trying to bring fell through on the basis of medical professional trying to defend another one who was wrong in not referring onward to a more knowledgable specialist. This does, as you may imagine, stick in my craw quite a lot. To this end, I shall be giving my medical development history on this site, and you can decide for yourselves what is what. Personally, I now have a serious loathing of so-called professionals. And I know that - no matter how hard I (or others like me) try to educate these idiots, they'll never listen. There is a qreat prevalence of antisocial psychapthy in the medical profession, and I think I fell victim to it, along with many others. Medics never seem to accept responsibility, do they?