Having a Plan A…and a Plan B – Dealing with My Autism

Plans eh? They say never to plan or have a set routine because it’s bound to go wrong. Well when you’re on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder like myself, it’s important to have some kind of routine or regimented order as that is a trait of ASD.

I don’t like change very much, and certainly when routine is disrupted like last week, it can cause a downturn in mood and well being. I can be flexible with changing plans – up to a point. I’m not the best with lateness or sheer incompetence, especially from service providers, in whatever field. Last week I was almost going out of my mind, it was that bad.

Again, it’s all about understanding. I like order and it’s almost my daily life is on rails or tramlines. When the path is smooth, life is all fine and dandy. When an unexpected development is introduced, the train of thought or action is derailed and severe anxiety becomes the prevailing mood. I suddenly become derailed and vulnerable. I don’t think enough is understood about this trait of ASD that affects one in 700,000 people in the UK.

To summarise, if people around me do things properly, are punctual and are nice to me, then I’m happy. If none of that criteria is met, it’s best to steer clear of me for a few days, as the steam will be coming out of my ears. I do have some patience, but that patience wears thin if the above pattern is not conformed to on a regular basis. That was what last week was like. Hell on Earth, and no joke.

I hope that helps some of the misconceptions around the traits of ASD.

Thanks for listening.

Allen Brooks xx


Thinking Time…

A week is a long time in politics, so the saying goes. Also a week is a long time in the life of Allen Brooks. This week I think will be a total contrast to the shambles of last week, which is in the process of being dealt with.

Weather? Dank, dreary, cold and wet best describes it, and that’s only the good points. It’s thoroughly unpleasant out there. Not worth bothering with daylight, might as well be dark the whole day, like the North Pole!

I went for a CBT appointment this morning and discussed the issues of last week, and how it affected my equilibrium. I always enjoy talking to the counsellor because she gives me a dispassionate view of things and that brings me back down to earth, from the anger and annoyance of last week to a more chilled out outlook this week.

I have got something planned for tonight, but if this dreary weather continues, I may decide that a night in the warm and in front of the TV would be better than freezing my proverbials off waiting for public transport in the evening rush hour. I’ll make a decision later.

And finally, a little tribute to the people I spent time with on Thursday and Saturday, the regulars from the pub. Warm, friendly and welcoming people, and they also helped bring me back down from the angry and unsettled mood I was in last week. I may not show my appreciation at times, but I really do this time and thank them for just helping me chill out. Thank you guys!

A few things going on this week, and I’m determined to enjoy them. Watch this space!

Thanks for listening.

Allen Brooks xx

Snow stopped play…

It’s been a quiet Sunday generally. I was invited out to the pub this afternoon but the snow has disrupted a lot of the local travel, so I decided against waiting in the freezing cold for buses that may not arrive. One of those things.

Have spent most of the day indoors, watching TV, with a warming cup of soup to help me through. I did need to go out for a takeaway meal from the local Chinese restaurant, so I donned my warm coat and a pair of sturdy shoes to make the 5 minute journey to the shops. The sound of the shoes crunching the snow is an iconic sound synonymous with winter. And I didn’t slip over once, otherwise the local wildlife would have feasted on the takeaway!

Just thinking back to last night, and the wonderful evening I had. Memories to treasure. Delightful people and so enjoyable to be with.

Stay safe

Allen Brooks xx

Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow


Above link is Let it Snow by Dean Martin.

Hello. Well London is under a thick blanket of snow this morning. The sledges are out in one household in the road where I live, and no doubt we will see a snowman at some point.

There are the usual transport problems. In the UK, transport can’t cope with snow, cold, heat, rain, wind etc. Two weeks before Christmas and people will have to delay their shopping expeditions methinks. But it is December, and this sort of weather is more or less expected. It’s a nice Christmassy scene out there, the sort that decorates Christmas cards.

Best advice, if you don’t have to go out, keep warm and have plenty to eat and hot drinks. Sounds obvious, but people often disregard the dangers and make their intrepid way to their destination. It’ll be gone in a few days. A short and severe Arctic blast. Then the madness of Christmas shopping will restart. I don’t care, I’m in bed!

Be careful out there!

Allen Brooks xx

Great Company….

I’ve just had a very nice evening out. I went to a birthday party of one of the regulars at the pub that I go to. It was a lovely, relaxed and fun evening. There were lots of food, more than a few drinks and plenty of banter, as one might expect. I was especially delighted to be asked along, and I felt good in their company.

Parties are not always my thing. I do struggle to make small talk (autism again) and to mingle with people. But tonight just felt a little bit different. All the usual crowd from a Thursday night were there, and I felt as though I was accepted. I do struggle too, to fit in and to be part of the “circle” so to speak, but tonight was one of those rare nights where it went extremely well.

I’ve had a fair few drinks, and though not drunk, I’m rather tired. Bed is calling me, so farewell, see you all tomorrow.

Allen Brooks xx

Brrrrrritain in the freezer….

Hello. Today’s winter weather offering is the sort I like. Clear, cold, crisp, sunny. Perfect for wrapping yourself up in a warm coat, scarf and hat and getting out for a while.

It’s not like that everywhere. Britain being an island, there are wide variations in the weather. Some parts are deep in snow. Snow, I hear you cry? Yes, that white powdery stuff that falls in winter and renders the UK powerless and helpless. Other countries like Finland, Switzerland and Canada get more snow than we do and yet they cope. The UK though doing what it does best when something goes slightly wrong; panic like mad.

So if it’s clear and cold where you are, go out and enjoy it. If it’s snowing where you are, also get out and enjoy it. It’ll be gone in a few days time. The freezing cold helps to kill off germs and flu bugs, so I’m always glad when it arrives. Far better than that grey, rainy, damp muck that has been the weather type for much of this week. Just a personal preference!

Allen Brooks xx

The Golden Ticket….

My winning ticket from Thursday’s Music Bingo. Some cracking tunes there, and ones that are a little more obscure. Though I do have a fair knowledge of music, there are times when I need help to recognise a tune, for example, Lip Up Fatty and One Bad Apple. I have never heard of those tunes before so when they play, I give a quiet shrug of the shoulders and look for help. And being the wonderful pub that it is, that help is always forthcoming.

Allen Brooks xx