For the last year, autistic spectrum disorders seem to have become a running theme in my working life. I worked as an assistant psychologist in a learning disabilities service where there were lots of people with autism. My first placement as a trainee also had a special focus on autism in children. (Apparently, my next placement will be continuing in this vein.)
That's great - I like working with people with autism. Its interesting - and its certainly different! Although, I must admit, ADHD is still my passion, increasingly so as I've recently met some people who are engaged in some really constructive dialogue which seems to go far beyond the shallow "Is it real, is it made up?" fighting that seems to dominate the field sometimes.
However, I have found out one of my cousins is being assessed for autistic spectrum disorder. This is a big family secret, so naturally, everyone knows. Of course, everyone is forbidden to talk to me as I "know too much". Consequently, the phone has been ringing of the hook.
It does feel wierd to be giving "advice" to family members - especially when its all such a great big secret. Apparently, I did not email my aunt lots of reading materials to pass on to my other aunt. No no no - she found them on the internet somewhere, definately not from me, because, I do not know.
I love my family - everyone talks about the elephant in the room to everyone else, but pretends no-one else knows about it. Honestly, family therapy with my extended family would be an absolute raucous, perhaps I will suggest it.