4 years of tales of the checkpoints

4 years of tales of the checkpoints

Hello everyone, my last blog was a heavy one so this one will be a fun light hearted one and a good laugh. In 2011 I started volunteering on the checkpoint for the Louise Smalley Walk. I did this up until 2015. 2016/2017 I had a year off the walk due to work. Then 2018 I was a walker. Here are some tales and woes and laughs from the checkpoints.

First year in 2011 I was 17 it was the year after I had a moment of crisis on the Louise Smalley Walk and had to finish the walk. We decided I would go with dad on his checkpoint and at this point Hannah was on checkpoint she was on mum’s checkpoint I was happy because I was checkpoint with Cathy as well. This blog post I am going to go through the years with the highlights, the low lights and things I learnt.

1st walk as a checkpoint crew, 2011 was Ladybower we were fittingly so on Checkpoint one and checkpoint five; the charity this year was Landmarks College.  We got to the checkpoint one very early in the morning and my job was making coffee’s and tea’s on checkpoint one and five so that is what I did. Checkpoint one was really windy but the view was amazing it was hard to imagine a city was over the horizon of the hill. I really enjoyed the rush of it as on checkpoint one you have everyone in large groups and they walk in and out. So after a while most people were through. We were waiting for a few walkers which came through it was noticeable that one was struggling due ankle issue but he made it through. We then packed up and went to checkpoint 5 which was a church in Eckington. We set up and made sandwiches and waited. This checkpoint I struggled with at times one of the struggles was the waiting around for people, I did have a quick nap in a chair because I wasn’t used to the early start and all the activity with it like running around trying to stop the checkpoint blowing away. Walkers are more spread out at this point and I really struggled with it to start off with. I ended chatting to Raynet and they had a dog that I played with for a bit and when people got there some were less polite than they were at checkpoint one but I understood.  We got everyone through the checkpoint, Darren went with the back runners to make sure they got to checkpoint six in time and we packed up and went back to Whitwell.

2nd walk I did was Monsal head which was 2012, checkpoint two which was Haywood CP and checkpoint six Eckington CO/OP, the charity this year was National Autistic Society. Again this checkpoint was a breakfast stop and a was on the hardest walk. My job was drinks I did a bit of cooking and checkpoint two they come in quick bursts similar to checkpoint one. We had a drop out at checkpoint two and he was picked up by a family member. At checkpoint six we had a few drop outs here and there but mainly people would rest. Eckington Coop was a good checkpoint we used the staff toilet and it wasn’t peeing in the trees. This was the cut off checkpoint you had to get to it at 7 which was stressing people out and it made a few people emotional but I cheered people up with my encouragement and light hearted humour. I struggled to be comforting if people were crying and sometimes I wanted to laugh at them. But didn’t I was supportive.

3rd Walk it was the Heritage Walk round robin which was in 2013, Checkpoint 3 Teversal Visitor Centre  and checkpoint 7 Holbeck, the charity this year was Calow hospital Children’s room. This was not a cooking checkpoint but it was a long wait around. I had up some sandwiches and we welcomed the walkers into the checkpoint we had a drop out person who we took with us to the next checkpoint. As there was so much waiting around I got warned before hand I would get bored so at that time in my life I was I was really obsessed with making pompoms out of wool. I made about 10/20 pompoms. Our gazebo went for a fly over a wall in Holbeck which about four of us managed to get it . At Holbeck a walker was hunched over and walked and got into a car and was driven away we took that as he was retiring. Something I noticed was round robin was a lot less waiting around. It was a weird one not going to lie. I really enjoyed it. It was more relaxed but at the same time I liked the first two checkpoints because you would start early and finished earlier.

4th Walk it was Millers dale which was in 2014, Checkpoint 4 Grassmoor and Checkpoint 8 Elmton, the charity this year was Just Good Friends group. This year I struggled the most for a few reasons. I had a meltdown the night before, I was going through a lot that year but I managed to get through the day without too many issues. This year was the first year without the first aid cover from St Johns on certain checkpoints. Checkpoint 4 was a pub and I had a sneaky pint with a few non driving members of the group. We got people through checkpoint 4 and moved onto checkpoint 8. We were at the bottom of the hill and we had to use the toilet at the top of the hill in a pub. This checkpoint was so long but good thing about checkpoint 8 is people most of the time walk through the checkpoint because they are so desperate to finish. This checkpoint I was struggling a little bit in my head and I noticed people could be a bit more rude and abrupt on this checkpoint I understand why its because they are tired.

5th walk it was Burton Joyce which was in 2015 back on Checkpoint 1 Oxton, checkpoint 5 Duncanwood and checkpoint 8 Creswell Crags the charity this year East Scarsdale explorers. This year I had a brand new job on the checkpoint which meant I was not much use at checkpoint because my new exciting job on the checkpoints was first aiding. I was the first aider on the checkpoint and I was so excited. Checkpoint one people most of the time come in, have a bite to eat and leave. Sometimes they walk through and sometimes they grab a bacon butty and eat it on the walk. Checkpoint 5 I did a lot blister care I also did some first aid fun stuff. A walker was sick so I was a ninja with one hand I grabbed water with the other I grabbed a chair for the person to sit down. I was used to sickness situations so it didn’t phase me. I gave a lot of encouragement to the walkers people were really struggling that year due to the heat and there was something in the air that year. After we went through checkpoint 5 dad and I went to join mum on checkpoint. The first Aiders on this checkpoint had been walking between checkpoint 8 and checkpoint 7. So I did some first aid when they weren’t around and it was weird doing first aid on people I had done first aid on earlier. Everyone went through the checkpoint and the walk was finished for another year.

quick fire things I learnt on checkpoints;

  1. Is it a checkpoint really a checkpoint if your not seeing people approach and shouting “WALKER” at the top of your voice.
  2. It’ll surprise you what small things fill you with joy on the checkpoint whether its a bit of flapjack, a call through to say the checkpoint before you has closed that means the back runners will be there within the hour.
  3. its useful having a family member on another checkpoint.
  4. That no matter how things go; the busyness, the long hours, the grumpy walkers, the rain, the sun or waiting around wondering if you will ever eat an normal meal again. It is a hundred percent worth it.

They are looking for volunteers on the checkpoint this year as it is the 25th anniversary.  the checkpoints are so worth it and it gives you a good feeling inside.

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dear the #ActuallyAutistic community

dear the #ActuallyAutistic community

Hello world is me again and there is something I would like to say. It will be controversial and will sound like I am a bit of a dick but listen up folk or read up folks and let me tell you what has bought me to this blog post.

Before I start I am not meaning to cause too much upset, I am just calling out certain things I have seen in the last few days on social media and it is really grinding my gears.

dear the #ActuallyAustic community

I am rosebud, I have autism grew up severely autistic and in my late childhood/teens became more higher functioning. I work in an autistic residential school so I have experience with care of severely autistic children and young adults.

So there is this play out in an off west end theatre called “all in a row” and its about a family a mum and dad and a 11 year old that is pre-verbal autistic. He is going the next day to a residential school because the mum and dad are struggling with his challenging behaviour. The autistic child is played by a puppet because the director and writer were worried about the adult and upsetting content of the play for an child to play the autistic character and it is based an certain type autism which would have been changed with an actor rather an a puppet. It opened on the 14th February and will run until 9th March. So essentially its open for over a month. So I was going about my day and saw Connor Ward had posted a video on a boycotting a play. I watched it and then felt unsure I felt like I needed to do my own research before ranting and raving on all social media platforms.

It was written by someone that has got experience in autism and he said himself it is written for and about parents with autistic children with really bad challenging behaviour. The character obviously can’t help it, he’s frustrated about the fact he can’t speak or express himself. There are parents, family members and some autistic people praised the show for tackling issues of severe autism and some of them are annoyed at the autistic community for trying to sensor something that is representing a different type of autism.

I do not defend this play as I have not watched it (yet) but I wanted to add a fair balance to the argument.

So the #PuppetGate on twitter and tumblr lets talk about that. People are upset, angry, hurt and really frustrated by the fact the autistic character is played by a puppet. Feeling like it dehumanising to autistic people I can understand where they are coming from on that point of view at the same time its a play, its fiction it goes of stage in a few weeks calm down. I can understand why people are upset but tweeting the actors of the play is daft and does make the autistic community look so petty. Charlie Brooks was right to go “watch it before you judge”. Then people are upset about that comment being like “I can’t it’ll be too much”. Well don’t go and see it but don’t scream and shout and try and boycott something without actually watching or doing the research. If its too much for you don’t go it wasn’t written for us it was written for parents and carers with severely autistic children and family members. Look it as an art not a thing to get upset about.

Something I am seeing a lot of on social media platforms is people judging the parents in the play for sending their son to a residential school. Don’t do that guys come on. Most parents that send their kids to residential schools do it because they have ran out of options, the challenging behaviour is getting too much for them and they are getting no sleep. It isn’t their first choice and most of the time it is a last resort. People are calling this play a pity party for parents of an autistic child and that doesn’t seem the case it seems like a play that isn’t like “yay my child is biting me” its an honest play about the honest experience of parents at their wits end. The school is 200 miles away doesn’t mean the parents don’t care it means that their isn’t a residential school in the area that can meet the child’s needs. Stop judging the parents and posting your judgement of the parents on social media its disgusting and parents that have autistic children in residential schools will read it and it be so hurt by what your saying.

I don’t get why the #ActuallyAutistic community feel the need to be so upset over a play its a play and will be over in under two weeks. Stop protesting, stop acting like the victim just because a writer hasn’t asked your opinion on his work. The puppet is a bit weird looking but all the positive reviews say its not so bad once the play starts. Some people are going to watch the play and are getting ready to hate it or have it in their mind already its going to be crap.

So guy from one autistic to another. Calm down, stop stressing and the whole situation will eventually go away.  If you go and watch it. Watch it with an open mind. I haven’t watched I would love a chance to watch it get another perspective.

Thanks

Rosebud.

Halloween walk and walking plan for next year

Halloween walk and walking plan for next year

Hello world on Saturday evening I did a walk with Ultra challenge called the Halloween walk it was 15km around Putney area in London and it is the fastest we have ever walked something ever.

So lets begin me and Ruth made sure we were prepared. I have at the moment neck pain from an injury at work so I made sure before I walked I was dosed up on pain killers and my neck was wrapped up in a scarf.  We got to the start had a toilet stop, had a few sweets and then got ready with the warm up. This time it was with a different zumba people that called themselves the skeleton sisters. We warmed up and then we were away. We started off the first 8km being close to the front and then we stopped at the rest stop for a quick toilet stop and a sweet fill up to keep us going. Then the second half we got chatting to a lone walker which helped us to stay to pace and we had a lovely chat about walking and ultra challenge. Telling her the story of London to Brighton and the fact the next one we are doing we are walking through the night and not stopping in one of those tents again. We talked all the way to the finish and I took pictures of the lady to send to her sponsors. So Ruth went ahead and was 25th in the list and I went through and I was 28th in the list. We finished in 2 hours 54 minutes the quickest we have ever done a walk and we finished with a glass of fizz at the end which was nice but unexpected (hopefully will pleasantly surprised at the winter walk to). We also got bobble hats and toffee apples in a goody bag which was also a nice gesture.

The support was amazing, communication about cut off times was amazing I like that they have changed that with honest cut off times and from looking at the websites for the other ultras it looks like they also have cut off times as apart of the fact sheets so that people can do training around the timings. Got no complaints for this walk it was fantastic and very well organised. A bit gutted the announcer didn’t call us his favourite wave but I can live through it.

So next years walking plans are;

  1. winter walk 20km goal to finish within 4 hours
  2. Easter walk 25km goal to finish within 5 hours
  3. London to Brighton as cheer squad on the second day
  4. Louise smalley Walk 40 miles in less time it took last time.
  5. peak district challenge 25km to finish within 5 hours
  6. Thames path 100km walking through the night. No sleeping over anywhere. Finish within the time period states and survive it. Ask for the earliest start.

The plan is to stick to the pace that we had at the Halloween walk and use it on other walks. So many exciting things to look forward to in the year. Also the Easter walk we didn’t stop at the check point long we had a toilet stop grabbed a few sweets and chugged down some water. So sticking to that so we can get the walks done in quicker time.

Thank you for reading

Goodbye all.

 

 

Louise Smalley Walk 2018

Louise Smalley Walk 2018

So Saturday the 23rd of June I completed my first Louise Smalley Walk and it was amazing. Here is my story from the evening before to the finish line with my own little spin on things.

The evening before we got our bags on the buses so that we had our own food and stuff on checkpoints. This was done at the royal oak so I had a few diet cokes and talked about the next day with fellow walkers and support teams. I got a pep talk from a few people. I went home and went to bed.

Woke up at 3:00am the next morning and got vaselined up, got dressed and got my boots on and had breakfast which consists of a perky bar. We went to the oak and signed in to the walk before heading outside and sorting out our stuff. We then all got told to go back inside for a final briefing where we got told to drink plenty of water, stay hydrated and we also got a pep talk about a man who ended up paralysed after an accident and he had enjoyed walking so we were doing it for him. We then went outside and the whistle blew for a one minute silence for absent friends and Louise Smalley. The second whistle blew and it was time to go. We set off at speed as you saw the hard core walkers start to run it. Whitwell to Checkpoint one was fun because we were really getting into a good pace. At times I overtook Ruth and get speedy and sometimes she would overtake me. We had a giggle and a chat. I had a bit of a breakdown close to checkpoint one because I was freaking out about being a back runner but as it turns out at that point we were in the middle. We also had the organisers of walk Joe Mason and Trevor Smalley kept popping up in places to check in with everyone and that became a bet between me and Ruth to keep us going. Ruth owes me like 3 pints because I guessed correctly where they would turn up.

We stayed at 5km an hour all the way to checkpoint one. We had a quick coffee and swapped our water bottles to smaller ones because our big ones were making it difficult. At this point we were still in the middle. We went through checkpoint 1 and went to checkpoint 2 for our bacon and egg sandwich made by dad. We stuck to our 5km an hour pace to Ranby.  We got to dad’s checkpoint and had some food. I for some reason struggled to eat bread so I ended up eating the inside of the sandwich and chocolate. At this point we were the front of the back runners. We set off from checkpoint two and we set off. We used the route description for this section as we were uncertain of the route but we enjoyed the route. I fell over at one point in a muddy section but I brushed it off and kept walking however unfortunately we got overtaken by some lovely nursing students. Me and Ruth carried on walking but we knew we were back runners. We got to mums checkpoint and had a sit down and a chat some water and a mummy hug.

We walked the next section with the awesome Karl Austin the camera guy. We had a good natter about the walk and the village stuff. We got to checkpoint 4 in really good time considering the fact I had hit a brick wall near the checkpoint. At checkpoint 4 I used the toilet, had some juice, had a muffin and a few sweets before heading on my way to checkpoint 5. Between Checkpoint 4 and checkpoint 5 we didn’t know the route so we had to use the route description. So that slowed us down but its not the end of the world because we got to checkpoint 5 in good time. at checkpoint five we had some water and some juice I went to the toilet and we went on our way to checkpoint 6.

Checkpoint 6 has a 7pm time cut off and if you end up past the time at that checkpoint you get pulled from the walk. We made it at checkpoint 6 at 4pm so we made it past the time limit and we were chuffed. Cathy met us at the end of the lane at Clumber park and I was so happy to see her I nearly cried. We got to the checkpoint had a coffee, had some brownies, had a chat, I got my feet repaired because blisters were starting show up. At 30 miles that is when I started to ache. We got a massage on our legs and we then went on our onward journey. We always had a goal in mind to get clumber park before the public toilet shut and we made it for it in perfect time. Ruth went to the toilet and we continued to checkpoint 7. 8 years ago I had to pull out of the Louise Smalley Walk after I had a moment of crisis which was bought on by tiredness and dehydration this happened at Clumber park. So getting through Clumber Park was amazing and getting to Truman’s lodge was awesome.

We had coffee and a chat before going to checkpoint 8 mum joined from checkpoint 7 and she kept us going through dreaded drinking pit lane which is meant to only 2km or something but it feels like it goes on forever. Just before we got into checkpoint 8 I was emotional that I was so close to the end and at one point I never expected to finish the walk. Hense why I went on checkpoint straight after the walk I didn’t get through. We went through checkpoint 8 had some juice and then went on our journey. Between checkpoint 8 and the Whitwell I cried a lot because I was so emotional because I was finally finishing my first Louise Smalley Walk. We got into Whitwell and the people that had been checkpoint one and five came to meet us and we walked through the rest of Whitwell together. I got up to the top of Bakestone moor and we could see the oak the finish line. Ruth followed behind me and we walked in together holding hands and feeling really happy with our achievement. We go a mighty cheer from everyone and a hug from everyone when we got back to the oak. I sat down on the bench and had some soup and a half pint of Strongbow dark fruits feeling like I had achieved something.

So after doing this walk we realised that a small village walk that costs a fiver is a lot better than a walk that is a bigger walk with thousands of people taking part around the country  and from abroad and costs over a hundred pounds.  Louise Smalley Walk is better than ultra challenge and are three reasons why.

  1. Ultra challenge in particular London to Brighton is in huge sections even toward the end. like 40km to 56km in its a long gap but if that had the Louise Smalley walk that would have had a break in between the checkpoints.
  2. The Louise Smalley Walk are consistent with the 7pm cut off and tell you from the beginning of your application process compared to Ultra challenge who said there was no cut off time however when it came to the actual walk their were several cut off times.
  3. The support teams care more about the walkers success they cheer you in the checkpoint, they cheer you out the checkpoint, they give pep talks, they get things for you and they are nice. Don’t get me wrong there were a few nice people on ultra challenge the people at 80km and the trek master that takes the signs down. Being back runners for LSW we were really looked after and no one judged us for being back late.

So here is to further Louise Smalley Walks. Next year is the 25th anniversary of walk and it is the beast Monsal head. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

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London to Brighton; the story!

London to Brighton; the story!

So we did it, well we did 80km which is 50 miles. Here is the story of our two days of blisters, pain, brick walls and twisted ankles.

We stayed in London overnight and we were excited and had the jitters but mainly excited. We had breakfast of overnight oats, got to the venue and we signed in. We did some warm up zumba and we went on our journey. We got to 1km and for some reason my body started to go crazy I was started to feel sick and started to gag, looking back my adrenaline was going up and down. However I powered through it and the first 12.5km we did 5km an hour, we had a sit down at the rest stop with a flapjack and a coffee before going on to the next checkpoint at 25km.

Between 12.5km and 25km I started get blisters and I was getting sore feet but I powered through the blisters and when they started to pop I was swearing and chanting to myself “I am seeing mum and dad soon”, “I am seeing mum and dad soon” which helped a lot. Something I did to keep myself going was counting to the nearest ten marker so I would get 6km to 20km and would count to the nearest km that I would see mum and dad. We got 25km and had an hour break while dad sorted out mine and Ruth’s blisters and we had a chance to eat and rest a little bit. 25km to 40km was horrible and painful we were going up hills to go back down hill to go back up hill. There was a few nasty down hill section where it was horrible and steep and the only thing keeping me going was Hugh Jackman on my music. I started to really struggle but got to the rest stop and had a break. People were staying at 40km for a long time so we weren’t the only people that were struggling.

40km to 56km I swear to god I thought I was going to die. I have not felt pain like it I was stiff and my feet hurt. I know in walking and running you always hear about the brick wall and hitting the brick wall. We didn’t just hit the brick wall we ran at the brick wall at speed and bounced of it. Every km felt like a mile and it felt like there was no end to our walking. It got dark and our mind set dropped a lot but a nice couple lighted our way to the next check point and we got some sleep and some rest. Not enough sleep or rest but I’ll get to that point later.

Day two we started at 6am and we were exhausted we walk to 67km and we were really struggling with the walk. Also at 67km a staff member told us we were 45 minutes away from the cut off time and if we stayed at that check point for too long we would be pulled out the walk. So that messed up our psych we pretty much ran out of that check point. It made me a bit quicker because I was raging because I remember hearing from the guy in charge of action challenge there was no cut off times, at that point I was like I wouldn’t be pulled if they were to pull me I would quit I wasn’t got to let them have that control. We got to between 70 and 80 and I tripped in some nasty mud and the whole of me went to the side apart from my foot and I twisted my ankle. I tried to do what I usually do and walk it off but I actually couldn’t so I had to get a car to pick me and Ruth up and Brooke did the last bit of KM on her own. We got taken to 80km and we stayed until Brooke got there and decided she had to stop as well.

So we had some dramatic times during this walk but we also had amazing times on this route. So I am going to start talking about the negatives so that I can finish with the positives and what I am going to do moving on from here.

So negatives;

  1. Sleeping over in theory is meant to be better however it in practice. The tents are not for human habitation and the toilets were far away from the tents if you have been walking for hours and need a quick wee. Also we got told in the rules we got told to be quiet between 22:00pm-05:00am but they put the campsite near the main tent and all I could do was listen to cheering until 4am and as Tulley’s farm is at 3:30am cut off at should not being cheered in. So I didn’t get much sleep.
  2. There needs to be more communication with staff because we had a staff member tell us if we didn’t move quicker we would be pulled out the walk but as soon as we got to 80km we got told we were going to get a lift to the next checkpoint unfortunately my ankles both ballooned in size so I had to hang up my walking boots.
  3. Food I know they put on lovely meals which I appreciated but what about having something simple like sandwiches after a certain amount of time and mileage a sit down dinner doesn’t always work.

The positives;

1. The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was really friendly. Staff at 80km were so kind and when I had my issues with my ankle I was picked up and taken to the checkpoint quickly.

2. The signage is amazing it is impossible to get lost on the walk.

3. Even though it was long slog we had a nice couple help us out between 50 and 56 and they helped show us the way through the dark. If you end up reading this blog thank you.

4. I love the fact that the walk is friendly and everyone starts the walk and they are strangers but by the end of it I feel I got talking to a lot of people and it was nice to see.

Going forward next year I am going to do the winter walk for the ultra challenge, I am going to do the Easter walk and we are going to do the half challenge for London to Brighton so we will be doing 44km between Tulley’s farm to Brighton.

This walk was good it had its moments and its crazy times but it has made me stronger and I know how to improve for future walks. I am obviously gutted I didn’t get to 100km but things happen for a reason.

 

walking updates May 2018

walking updates May 2018

2 weeks until London to Brighton. AHHHHHHHHHHH. Me and Ruth are both nervous but really excited as well. We followed the isle of Wight challenge and we saw that people were like I enjoyed it but I am in so much pain. So me and Ruth are planning on doing things some things to get us through the walk. First things first we are taking pain killers with us and taking pain killers before we start to cover us. Ruth is going to wear knee supports so that she is prepared. We are going to make sure we are rested and carbed up for the walk and we are going to stay at a consistent pace. We are going to put blister plasters on our pressure areas before start. We are going to listen to music and we are going to relax and actually try to enjoy it. I want to get to the sleeping rest point by 8:00pm or 9:00pm so that we can get a good nights sleep between day one and day two.

Day one I believe we can be done in 12 or 13 hours with our pace improvement and the adrenaline will power us through plus when we went walking at the beginning of May we did 15 miles in 5/6 hours which is good considering it was a heat wave so our pace has improved and we didn’t ache yet we stopped because it was really hot. We have now officially practised in all weathers from Sunshine, raining and cloudy and we also practise under different foot paths and conditions so wet mud, dry mud, concrete, sandy paths and grass. Day two will be harder because we are going over the infamous south downs in the last 20km. Running joke is we are going to use personalised tops/jumpers so that they can identify the bodies at the top of the south downs. So day two we can done between 12 to 14 hours just because we will be stiff.

I do have some personal goals for the walk and hear they are.

  • Be at 50k within 10 to 12 hours
  • Get over the south downs alive
  • Be at Tulley’s farm around 12 to 13 hours.
  • Not have a mental break down
  • Work through the brick wall
  • Enjoy it!

Moving away from London to Brighton we have also been doing smaller walks and we are getting to know the route for the Louise Smalley Walk even though some parts of the route description was misleading at times and we went over a style to look at a quary and then left said style.

Next time I post on here I will have done London to Brighton or will have died at the top of the south downs one of the two.

Here is my justgiving page give me money

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosemary-barnes

Autism now tag

Autism now tag

This post I saw Connor Ward channel and as I prefer to type rather than video I decided to use it as a blog.

How long ago were you diagnosed with Autism?

I was diagnosed at the age of 3 so I have been diagnosed for about 20-22 years. My longest running joke is I have been working with autism for 20-22 years.

What is your biggest struggle at this moment?

Biggest struggle at the moment apart from getting ill more often than I used to. Is I have recently gone through some changes with moving and getting back into my routine so I say I have struggled to get back into routines or patterns which is having a massive effect on my anxiety and my reflexes. So for my anxiety it has been mainly affecting me out and about in town and at work so I go from cool as a cucumber to getting ready for battle anxious like I used to build up so I could go I am anxious leave a situation or I can regulate back to a normal level however as I have been jumping straight to anxious my brain is past regulation and I end up running away or having a meltdown. I am working on controlling it which is working for now.

Do you currently feel held back socially by your autism?

No, socially I am doing well. I do have mechanism to get through conversations and sometimes I leave rooms if I have had enough of conversations. I do enjoy being around people and I do enjoy being a social being.

Are you currently in work(if not what are your struggles with finding it)?

Yes I work in an autistic school in their boarding area. I found work easily and I enjoy my job a lot as they are supportive to both staff and student.

What would you like to see yourself doing in a year?

In a year I am hoping to either still be at work or I would love to be doing a masters in psychology to get the science part of it. So that I can be classed under the PBS and then I am hoping to do a PHD in either clinical psychology or educational psychology.

What things have you overcome in recent times relating to your autism?

In the last few years I have got through a degree, I have used the train and the tube for the first time ever. I have become a very independent in the last few years and I have become more aware of my emotions and become aware of who I am as a person. I have stopped masking.

What things would you like to over come in the near future relating to your autism?

I want to get of a grip of the anxiety and get it to simmer down so that it builds up again rather than yoyoing but that will come with time.

What is your favourite thing at the moment about being autistic?

Autism may be a pain, it may be crazy at times but I wouldn’t be anywhere without it. It makes me who I am and it makes me a stronger person because I have had to work hard for everything I have and I wouldn’t be anywhere without it. It gives me a good sense of humour and I have a very dry and dark sense of humour which is based on my honesty. Also with my experience with other people’s autism’s and my own autism I have a good insight into autism which helps me in my job and in my personal life.