Episode 11

Make sure you tick all the boxes dear reader….


I love irony my friend. For irony makes me smile, it makes me ponder and it gets me asking a lot of questions…Take for example the endearing ‘tick box’ tool that we all now are subjected to in our everyday lives. The central heating boiler must tick various boxes or it will be deemed ‘a health and safety risk’; our children attending mainstream school must tick various boxes in their educational assessments, or else a smartly dressed official with clipboard in hand will deem the school as ‘failing’ (another health and safety risk perhaps?) the prospective employee at interview must utter the current ‘buzz words’ to tick those boxes that were created by the human resource department, or else they won’t be offered the position they may have spent years working towards and preparing for.

One could suggest that the true master of the ‘tick box’ formula inhabits an autistic world. The world where everything is black or white, where everything is viewed in a linear fashion; a world where there is only one possible answer. Indeed, to an extent this can very often appear to be the case. LS knows exactly what he wants; rarely can we find room for negotiation (that can be challenging at times my friend, I have to admit). However in reality for most of us life just isn’t black or white, is it? Every aspect of life lies on a spectrum I would suggest. There is the top of the range model of central heating boiler and there is the ‘value’ range; but they fundamentally both can heat our homes. Where do you then draw the line for the purposes of the tick box assessment on boilers? There is the child who comes from a loving stable family home who passes all their ‘tests’ at school and there is the child who comes from a very dysfunctional chaotic family home and just may not pass their ‘test’ at school (I wonder why?). Are all those factors taken onto account when the smartly dressed official arrives armed with clipboard? I don’t think so.

So it would appear therefore that as much as all of us who inhabit the non-autistic world attempt to ‘pull’ our autistic companions out of their world, (it will be better for them; we just know it) we are actually heading in that very same direction ourselves, armed with our ‘tick box score sheet’. Where and how is this all going to end up? I bet LS and his companions are having a great laugh here …and probably have the answer to my last question. Ah the irony of it all, I just love it..!