A illustration of a human head with a red telephone positioned at the ear and thunderbolts directed inwards.

Please note: This blog is not intended as a self-help guide or a substitute for medical advice. It is purely to share my own experience.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself how the spider hiding beneath your pillow got there, with all doors and windows sealed shut; or how a salesperson from the other side of the world mysteriously dialled your phone number, they are simply inexplicable events that just become part of the everyday. Now imagine having these calls from salespeople, cold callers (whatever appropriate description) and that ringing becomes incessant, without any end in sight. …


If truth be told, and I hope I am not isolated in this way of thinking, I would liken myself to be a weathervane. That is if I were asked about my personal feelings and outlook of autism (and perhaps politically to some extent). My adoption of identity-first language only is a good example. While ‘acceptance’ about your identity comes in many shapes and guises, I feel it is far less interesting, and somewhat less credible, if someone were to unabashedly shout from the rooftops beliefs and positions held in the present day as consistent from10–15 years ago. …


To read the first part, take a look here.

N.B. No individuals have been named in this blog.

Bad

There is an unmistakable bond where charities and politics are concerned. From a national perspective, campaigns are geared towards the relevant figures and ministerial brief to push for change. My experiences have given me multiple platforms to address those in power and give voice to a particular cause. This often consisted of mental health, housing and education for SEN learners. To an extent, they can be effective and stimulate the necessary debates, bills for legislation and MP/peer backing when representatives take a…


N.B. No individuals have been named in this blog.

When you are familiarised to a particular culture or environment, there are certain trends, expressions and ways of thinking you become accustomed to. Over the years, as an almost veteran in the circuit of youth volunteering (or social action), the term ‘usual suspects’ was mildly banded about. Like certain words, they can be ill-defined or subject to a myriad of interpretations. In essence, it means someone or a cohort who are over-exposed and are too frequently present when they risk taking too much room on the stage.

While it was never…


This is the written script presented at the opening of the school’s brand new inclusive playspace…

Thank you very much everybody and it is a real honour to have been asked to formally open this impressive facility to benefit the pupils of this school, now and in the future. Inclusion is not just a byword for tolerance or a token gesture, but rather it is inviting people (regardless of need or background) to feel welcome and to be rightly supported that meets an individual’s needs. Having a playspace which is not only designed with the collaboration with pupils of the…


On the auspicious year of its 70th anniversary, the NHS can rightly hold its head high for the strides made since its founding and evolution since then — from ‘test tube babies’ to heart transplants, to describe it as revolutionary will always be rightly justified. Yet, for the conditions which cannot easily be addressed with a scalpel alone or through bed rest in hospital, the picture is somewhat murkier. With regards to autism in this instance, there is no doubt that the situation is on shaky ground. …


When the image of lone jigsaw pieces suddenly emerge before my eyes, I am normally left with a mixture of exasperation and dismay that it’s autism once again that is the unfortunate flag-bearer of this misplaced object (you can read more why I have such gripes about its usage here). It happened again just some days ago, when a tweet came unexpectedly through my Twitter notifications for a play I otherwise had no knowledge of its existence previously, let alone its basic premise. Below was that design which accompanied the play’s publicity…

The original poster for the production.

If seeing blue jigsaws floating was enough to…


NOTE: The blog contains reference to some terms that might be rather upsetting. It is only intended in context for the purposes of the blog.

Ever felt the heady head-spin in being swept along into a situation out of your control? In the world of campaigning, you steadily learn that attitudes and assumptions of what are thought previously of as virtues can actually pose a chance of upset to the people who you might want to champion and furthering the cause where there are other many glaring inequalities in the landscape. When it comes to language, I have perhaps come…


This is the text (and accompanying photos) of the speech I presented at this year’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Conference on the 13th March 2018 in Glasgow, as part of the &Us Network morning plenary.

Good morning, conference. My name is Jack. Allow me to begin by planting a small question for you to ponder on at this early hour of the day: when does the patient voice become the expert voice? In the context of patient involvement, then whether it is the NHS or our Healthwatch patches, we could probably all agree that we want…


There is something quietly stirring in the domain of television and film. For autistic people, it has often felt the subject of its representation and experiences in life have been packaged in such a way that others, whether that be from the view of experts or relatives and carers, are the driving force to build a picture of how and in what way autism touches their lives. Often it has looked as though the essential figure, the autistic person, is just the vehicle to tell someone else’s story and ancillary in their own role.

A challenge in that model has…

Jack Welch

Blogger, volunteer, autism activist and much else besides!

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