Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind


Who am I?

A good question. I’m not entirely sure, which is one of the reasons for starting this blog. I have always been considered by people who don’t know me well (and some who do know me well) as being “a bit different”, “odd” or “quirky” and socially naive. I’ve always has problems relating to others, but it was only when I reached the age of sixty that I learnt of the probable reason. It was then that I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

As my only understanding of autism at that time was from Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Rainman, I was appalled by the diagnosis, but as I have learnt more about what being on the spectrum really means, it feels like I am finally putting together the pieces of the jigsaw that make me who I am. Today, I am comfortable enough to acknowledge that I am an aspie.

While I’m intending to remain relatively anonymous, I’m not bothered too much that some who may happen to stumble across the blog may recognise me. Those that are important to me already know me better that I do, so are unlikely to be surprised by anything I post here. For anyone else that may make the connection between the person who inhabits this blog and my public persona: if it bothers you, tough bikkies.

So Who am I? I’m a Pakeha male born in the late 1940’s. I attended three primary schools and two secondary schools as my father’s job necessitated moving to a new area with each promotion. I worked for the same multinational for over thirty years in a customer support role until health issues forced an early retirement at the age of fifty. No doubt I will reveal more about myself in my blog posts.

38 thoughts on “About

  1. Welcome to the world of blogging, Barry. I’m looking forwarded to reading your posts.

  2. Thanks for the warm welcome Doobster

  3. Hi Barry. I admire you for being open about your diagnosis of autism. Welcome to WP. Someday, I hope to visit NZ. It’s on my bucket list. It’s a beautiful country and I’ve met many awesome people (online) from there.

    • Thank you for your comment. Autism is widely misunderstood, and if I manage to keep this blog going, I hope to correct some misconceptions.

      If you do get to visit here, don’t come with rose tinted glasses. You’ll be disappointed if you do. I believe it’s a wonderful place, but it is far from perfect.

      • I took off my rose tinted glasses a long time ago, but you can’t deny the perfectly breathtaking beauty of NZ. 🙂

        I agree that there is a lot of misconceptions about ADS as well as all neurological, neurodevelopment disorders. They are most often stigmatized, especially by certain sects of mainstream Christianity who believe that mental disorders are caused by Satan and demons.

        • Perhaps mainstream Christianity here differs from that in the States. There might be a few fundamentals sects that believe they can “cure” ADS by casting out demons, but they would be a distinct minority. One or two mainstream churches still oppose GLBT rights, but otherwise they seem positively liberal in comparison to the situation in the U.S.

  4. Correction: I meant to write ASD

  5. “they seem positively liberal in comparison to the situation in the U.S.”

    Which is why I have a great appreciation for your country. It’s not just Protestant fundamentalists in the U.S. and elsewhere that stigmatize — the largest Christian denomination in the world does. The RCC.

  6. Continuing from your comment on GC’s post: You wrote:

    “I’m rarely completely pain free, and migraine symptoms that cause some level of impairment occur approximately 20 days of the month. These can include prolonged aura, hemiparesis, fever, impaired consciousness, ataxia, photophobia, phonophobia and aphasia. I’ve had migraines since my early teens, but they have been getting worse over the last 20 -25 years at an ever increasing rate.”

    My mother had epilepsy, but it’s under control now and so are her migraines. She had nearly every symptom you mentioned and suffered for over 40 years. As I mentioned on GC’s post, there was a period when they were chronic.

    I was curious: do you have seizure disorders in your family history?

    “New research reveals a shared genetic susceptibility to epilepsy and migraine. Findings published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), indicate that having a strong family history of seizure disorders increases the chance of having migraine with aura (MA).”


    Again, Barry, I’m so sorry that you suffer with chronic migraines. I saw what my mother went through. I can understand why certain aspects of religion would be comforting. I hope science finds a cure very soon. Thanks for sharing so personally.

    • There’s no history of seizure disorders, but there is a history of migraine through at least five generations. I seem to be the only male with migraine, and the only one that doesn’t present with “Common” or “Classic” migraine symptoms.

      I’ve had migraines for over 50 years so I have learnt to accept them as part of my life. Currently I’m not on any medication, as every one tried so far (over twenty types) has either been ineffective, or has side effects that outweighed any benefit.

      • That’s too bad about the side effects outweighing the benefits. That seems all too common with prescription meds. Have you ever tried a combination of cannabis and triptans or have you tried cannabis alone? If so, did that help? As you may already know, THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol. binds to receptors found throughout the body’s brain and other parts of the nervous system . Cannabis is both anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

      • I also found it interesting that cannabis was a standard treatment for migraines from 1874 to 1942.


        “Cannabis, or marijuana, has been used for centuries for both symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine. It was highly esteemed as a headache remedy by the most prominent physicians of the age between 1874 and 1942, remaining part of the Western pharmacopoeia for this indication even into the mid-twentieth century. Current ethnobotanical and anecdotal references continue to refer to its efficacy for this malady, while biochemical studies of THC and anandamide have provided a scientific basis for such treatment. The author believes that controlled clinical trials of Cannabis in acute migraine treatment are warranted.”

  7. Barry, have you hung up the blogging spurs? Been a while since your last post and even since I last saw a comment from you. I hope you’re okay.

    • It’s nice to know that someone has noticed my absence ☺

      My health has not been the best lately. Combine that with chronic migraine events (low to moderate pain levels, but moderate to high levels of cognitive dysfunction) and I find that I loose the ability to understand complex or abstract ideas, let alone respond to them.

      There are a number of topics I’d like to post about, but at the moment they are just short bulleted lists waiting to be expanded into sentences and paragraphs. When I’ve regained the ability to contribute by commenting to other posts, I’ll be ready to restart blogging.

      No I haven’t hung up my blogging spurs yet.

  8. I’m sorry, Barry, about your migraines. I don’t suffer from them, but I know from those who do that it can be debilitating. I hope you start to feel better soon and can get back into the swing of blogging…and everything else in life that your migraines have interfered with.

  9. Pingback: It may not sound that way, but I am grateful | Mindful Digressions

  10. Hey Barry, just showed up here to say hello.
    Happy blogging

    • Thanks, I seem to spend more time commenting on other blogs than I do posting on my own. I’m better at joining a conversation than starting one.

      • That itself, participating in conversations, is good enough. We still get to meet and interact.

        • Nice to meet you Barry and hi to makagutu and Clare. -wave-

          This is what I love about blogging – communities form from shared interests rather than the vagaries of geography, although as an Aussie you and I are almost neighbours, Barry.:)

          I hope you continue to blog when you feel up to it.

          • Hello neighbour ☺

            One of the nice things about blogging is that I can communicate at my own pace. This is something that’s not available to me in the real world during migraine episodes.

            • -waves- I definitely know where you’re coming from re keeping to your own pace. I have no health issues but real life still comes first so I appreciate not being tied to any external deadlines or schedules.
              Btw my niece gets horrible migraines too so I’ve seen how awful they can be first hand. 😦

  11. I find Aspergers fascinating. I have known one or two people with it, and when my friends realised their son had Aspergers, it was a great relief. He had certain difficulties, and it all fell into place. It is lovely to meet you.

  12. Hi Barry great to meet you and welcome to my blog. I notice you like Paul Curran’s guest post’s my blog is very different to his style. He is guesting over at Mark’s blog at for all of September do visit him over there. I am mainly a poetry blog but I would love for you to have a look around.
    Incidentally I have a nephew of 33yrs who has Aspergers and also I have a friend who like you found out she had it too in her sixties. Nice to meet you 🙂

  13., your blog is currently included on our Actually Autistic Blogs List ( Please click on the “How do you want your blog listed?” link at the top of that site to personalize your blog’s description.
    Thank you.
    Judy (An Autism Observer)

  14. — didn’t know where else to put this since I couldn’t immediately find an email or a contact page. You recently left a comment on my Adult Behavior post and it went to Spam. Within microseconds after I hit the delete button, I saw it was from you. So sorry. Of course you’re welcome to repost your comment if you wish.

  15. HI, it’s Thecla from Woodbrooke online. I’d like to send you the draft of what we want to send to other Quaker groups but can’t find your email address. I’m on [email address supplied] if you’d like to reply directly.

  16. Hi Barry, thank you for following my blog. You’ve got a great blog here yourself and I look forward to reading more. 🙂

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