David Malins: The Asperger's Syndrome Pioneer

FAQ

This section is compiled of many of the most common Frequently Asked Questions I get, many of them are basic how,  what, when, where and why based - some others are great little questions that always make me smile that I'll always be delighted to answer (whilst there are some at the end that are real-life examples that I have been asked-ish by people who really should have thought carefully before they asked them). I'm always interested if you have any further questions that you would like to ask me, but don't see noted here in the F.A.Qs section - so please contact me via [email protected]


Regular Questions

  1. When were you first diagnosed with Asperger's?

    At 4 years old at the Child Development Centre in Hereford. My parents were told that I would "..never walk, talk or interact properly" and would "always be in his own mind". Now look at me - I've proved them wrong, but it's also down to my parents who saw me and my potential (even if that did mean at times being taken round places kicking and screaming lol)

  2. What have been your most difficult challanges?

    So far, it's been trying to convince the authorities on the need for more services and provision to access regular services, whilst trying to prevent otherwise damaging strategies from running away unchecked that inhibit raising awarenss and tolerance to those on the spectrum in wider society. (This battle is often a case of Scientific and Statistical Fact-proven stategies that can help everyone on and off the spectrum that the aspie community demands, over the "quack" or psuedo-scientific methods that usually have only financial or selfish motives spurring them - But hey, that's part of my everyday role that you can help me with simply by making me aware of what is happening :) - thanks to everyone who has so far)

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Odds, ends, bits, bobs and intrigue...

  1. So what is it about the tunic Dave - Why do you wear it?

    Quite frankly because I like to - it's a unique style of uniform and almost a trade mark, which allows people to start conversations with me without even trying and allowing me to show some of my more positive traits.

    As for what its for, there are several reasons:

    1. Identifies with my family's long military history and heritage, which dates back to both world wars, the crusades and probably even before that...Professional Soldiering is in our blood - but luckily we always question our orders so that we care for our fellow men - As for my weapons, they're of peace, debate, liberty, words and leading by example (not by musket, rifle or gun), which is also in my family's heritage :)
    2. I'm a Micronational or "New Nation Project" leader - The uniform depicts my role as Supreme Commander of the Democratic Commonwealth Union Micronation, as well as it's ambassador. It's both a hobby, a community project and a coping mechanism - why? - The answer is really "why not?" :) Without imagination from a "child-like" mindset means that the creativity to make new things goes out of the window and makes you miss opportunities that could have been possible than other "orthodox solutions"
    3. I don't fancy myself in wearing "modern clothes" unless it's individualistic to me - or as I like to think - Blue IS the new Black lol
    4. I have a strong "black & white" set of morals which guide me and am proud to be a christian - it's even cooler to wear your own uniform too, so once again, "why not?"
    5. I like putting thing together myself - I set my own fashion ;)
  2. What about that utility jacket / body warmer you wear - why?

    Ah yes :) - this is something that I've never fallen out of love for - particuarly the ones that you can get at army surplus shops with the many pockets for storing everyday things like cards, mobile phones, mp3 players, etc... I have shown it off as the "adult-sized weighted jacket" when talking about sensory stimulation and controlling mechanisms, designed in dealing with under- and over-sensitivity in children and adults. I have got used to and can never really relax properly due to sensory under-stimulation around my chest. The jacket allows me to feel what can be described as a "gentle hug" that keeps enough sensory stimulation to keep me comfortable, as well as to help with motor co-ordination.

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Repetitive or Bad Questions that should never be asked....

  1. "Can you help me? I have a problem, but I know you won't be able to answer it..."

    If you want me to give a try at answering your questions, then try me - I won't bite and I'm only here to help. However I will not accept rhetorical questions that you expect me to answer poorly, and it probably means that you have given up on sensible solutions and are now suffering from self-induced depression - you need help from other professionals - preferably in Mental Health: but I do wish you well (NB: Believe it or not folks, this was a real question and thankfully, the person concerned did receive appropriate treatment for their depression)

  2. Why don't you like jokes that show how stupid "normal" or "neurotypical" people are?

    Simply because "normal" people are NOT always stupid. I have many friends and colligues who are Neurotypical that are geniouses in their chosen areas - To start making fun of them is also very unfair, as your condoning the Aspie Community at large to bully others who are not in the community - Bullying NEVER wins friends, it NEVER rights wrongs and it can NEVER be allowed in a neurodiverse society - Hence I don't condone any such behaviour by ANYONE - NEUROTYPICAL, ASPIE OR OTHERWISE. Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself - lead by example. Stay away from far-right or extremist political philosophies if you want to be included in debates in the future. I AM a real Aspie (NB: Once again, another very real question that was put to me by right-wing extremists on the spectrum - beware those sorts of people and don't be deceived in what they say to you)

  3. Why do you still have soft toys? You're grown up, you don't need them and you'll get laughed at...

    Pardon me - but I don't tell you what to wear, how to think nor how to decorate your home, so don't tell me what I can and can't have. My cuddly toys are part of my world, reminding me of who I am as much as my music and my tunic for example, they are also a comfort mechanism, particularly when I'm on my own - If you don't like it, tough luck - Oh and also, I don't preach Christianity to you if you don't want to hear it, so why do you have to force Atheism down my throat?! Think about it, it's you who is being antisocial.... (N.B. Once again another true example)

  4. "Parents with "High Functioning kids" have it easy, you don't know what its like for a Severely Autistic Kid to push you over the edge.."

    That's totally untrue. Retract that statement - it's far more offensive than the point you were claiming to bedisputing, particularly since I once was one of those "high functioningkids" you're on about: My parents never found it easy and could haveeasily gone "over the edge" just as much as parents with a"severely autistic" kid - Plus they received very little support forme, which they had to beg and scrape for. They couldn't even get in to thelocal autism support group because the group organisers claimed that I"wasn't autistic enough" to require them. If it wasn't for my parentshard work and dedication, I wouldn't be here right now - and probably would beheavily dependent on the state for my everyday needs. I know so many adults andtheir parents who will tell you the same thing themselves without hesistation -they even look as tired as they claim from that sustained effort (and the restof the family) believe it or not.

     

    (Another all-too recent and very true example, with the reply word-for-word as I wrote it :()

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