I entered the field of autism in 2001 knowing absolutely nothing. In retrospect it was a good place to start. No preconceptions or opinions at all. I didn't even know what the word 'autism' meant.
My first care manager sat in the chair opposite and smiled. He paused for a moment. " Imagine suddenly being put in the middle of a street somewhere. You don't know where this place is. You cannot make sense of the road signs. The boards over the shops don't tell you anything. You cannot interpret the language or facial expressions of the passers by. The lights from the cars are dazzling. The surrounding sounds are all deafening. You are completely alone. How would you feel?" he asked.
"Scared, disorientated, not a part of things, paranoid", I answered.