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When I began posting online I kept my cards close to my chest. I had spent my life giving my fullest effort, and felt like I failed. So I expected the same result, I felt that I needed to take on as much as I could. I didn’t want to make announcements until I knew exactly what was going to happen. I got too used to a life playing blackjack, while everyone else was playing poker. I kept my cards close to my chest, because I needed to know what game it was, before I played my hand.

I wanted my word to be my bond, that was important to me. So I had to know everything would work out as expected before posting about it.

One of the conversations I had last year, was with a member of the Gogglebox production team. I had pitched them an Au-thentic special (all autistic people for a one off show) and suggested that they consider including an autistic person on the show. I even said I’d consider getting involved if needed. I’m glad that didn’t happen actually, because I’m still getting used to being visible on video. It wasn’t that long ago I wouldn’t even go on video call to my own parents, when they called. My wife would always answer instead of me.

I didn’t hear back from them after that call, but recently, I did notice that Chris Packham is now one of the people involved with Celebrity Gogglebox.

I said that autistic people view the world in a different way, so an autistic person's viewpoint was really important to have. Honestly, I have no clue if that conversation had anything to do with Chris being involved in the show or not. I have wondered though, I must admit. However, it doesn’t really matter because it’s just the kind of inclusion I was looking for. It is fantastic to see, and although I enjoyed Gogglebox before, it means so much more now.

“I’m not a typical autistic person because there is no typical autistic person.”

Chris Packham

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern

Words – Ross A Fraser

Graphic Design App – Canva

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I have tried a lot of things to get inclusion, representation, understanding, and acceptance, for our community. I worked 20 hour days often at the start, because I thought that’s what it would require. I thought that was the sacrifice that was needed on my part. I had hoped that one of the projects would pay off, just one, but I ended up achieving so much more, than I thought was possible.

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