No. 35 David Corner | IHC | Inclusion International

Recorded on October 2022

IHC

Transcript:

[00:01:48.900] – Lloyd:

Thank you for your time, David, and I appreciate that I know you’re busy today but still find some time to have this korero or conversation with me about autism and about intellectual disability, give us some insights about how you live as a human being. All right, so can you give us a little bit I’ve us a high level, maybe, a background about yourself?

[00:02:18.390] – David:

Yeah. Now, where would you like me to start? Yes. I was born in 1963 in Laha in wellington. My family moved to Palmerston North, probably about 1964 or ’65. And I went to kindergarten and went to primary school, B three.

I went to a school called Central normal school in Palmerston North. And then we moved to Nelson in 1969. And I went to primary school and intermediate school and college. So I’ve got two older sisters and a father. My mother passed away 10 years ago.

[00:02:57.330] – Lloyd:

Tell me about your experience growing up in your area.

[00:03:01.680] – David:

It was quite good growing up in my area. I went to the same school as other people. But when I went to primary school for the first year in Nelson, I used to go to a special school for a while and the teacher helped me to learn to read and write. So it was an IHC school.

[00:03:21.700] – Lloyd:

And do you find it an amazing experience for you in terms of reading and writing?

[00:03:27.820] – David:

Yes. I found that by going to the special school, and the head mistress was the headmaster was my next door neighbour, and she actually helped me to read and write, helped me to get to where I am today thing.

[00:03:42.710] – Lloyd:

You went to college, right? And did you went to Uni? Did you go to uni? No, I.

[00:03:46.470] – David:

Didn’t go to university, but I went to polytechnic. I went to intermediate and college. I was bullied quite a bit when I was at primary school by different people. But at intermediate and college, I was in special classes. Or in other words, they’d always be called segregated classes.

[00:04:04.550] – Lloyd:

What do you mean by segregated classes?

[00:04:06.750] – David:

We were separate from the other people. We didn’t mix with the other people.

[00:04:12.410] – Lloyd:

Did they have a special programme for you?

[00:04:16.820] – David:

Not so much a special. We used to read and write, probably did things different than the other people, not as hard and things.

[00:04:23.550] – Lloyd:

When you say hard, did you find it so challenging doing those?

[00:04:28.500] – David:

No, I didn’t find it challenging. But what I mean by we did different things to other people, like we didn’t do exams and things. Sometimes, I don’t know whether you’ve ever heard the saying, we almost went to school to eat our lunches sometimes. We didn’t really learn that much. I think one year at school, we didn’t really learn that much. When I was an intermediate for one year, we used to play games all the time.

[00:04:55.580] – Lloyd:

You will be able to understand the whole concept of social interactions with your peers at that time if you went to lunch with your peers?

[00:05:07.040] – David:

Yeah. I think if we had social interaction, it might have helped us to understand other people and they might have helped them to understand us sometimes.

[00:05:16.600] – Lloyd:

How is it like going to your school as an autistic person?

[00:05:21.520] – David:

Well, it was difficult because I didn’t know I had autism, really. I knew I had an intellectual disability. It wasn’t until 2013 I actually discovered that I actually had autism.

[00:05:33.190] – Lloyd:

So how did you discover that?

[00:05:36.170] – David:

My sister and myself actually went to see a specialist in Wellington. I always thought that I had some autistic features. It’s just the way I do things. So we actually had to pay private to go and go to see a specialist. And then he actually said, Well, yes, I do have autism and things.

 

[00:05:56.990] – Lloyd:

Okay. You didn’t go through the general practice or your GP just for that?

[00:06:03.700] – David:

I did go through my GP and I got referred to some of the Capital Coast district Health Board in Porirua. I met with a person and I think I went with one of my colleagues from work. And I think there was a scale of one to five. Where do I fit on the autism spectrum? I said, I think I’ll be at three and a half. And he said, Well, there’s no halves. Almost said, Well, you don have autism.

[00:06:30.140] – Lloyd:

When you say three and a half or we don’t have halves, are you talking about it’s either you’re on the autism spectrum or you’re not?

[00:06:38.360] – David:

Yeah. What I mean by halves is I think the autism spectrum from one to five or something, the scales. And he was almost saying, where do you fit? Are you one, two, three or four or five? And I think I said it’s about three and a half or four and a half.

[00:06:55.500] – Lloyd:

I had the same concept actually in my head running when I was trying to assess or look at my child who has autism as well.

And I am trying to gauge because autism spectrum is such a wide spectrum. And I’m trying to say, is he on a medium, mild or high, very high scale? I don’t know. The way we were told is that he has our classic autism. I don’t know what that means, actually. It’s just so I was just thinking that’s autism.

[00:07:32.290] – David:

And the reason why I say that is I don’t know whether you’ve ever seen a picture, I think it is. We’ve all got to do the same task. I think there was a cartoon picture of an elephant and a monkey together. And there’s a whole row of hoops up in the air or something. The monkey can climb a tree, but the elephant can’t.

[00:07:54.150] – Lloyd:

Yeah. Is that perhaps your definition of different people thinking different ways, like you have a monkey and an elephant?

[00:08:03.800] – David:

Yeah. I guess it’s almost the scale. It’s almost like saying a monkey and the elephant both have to do the two tasks, both have to climb the tree. But it’s almost like, first you may have autism, climb the tree. The elephant may think he has autism, but someone might say, Well, no, you haven’t got autism because you can’t climb the tree or something.

[00:08:27.020] – Lloyd:

Is it something that, I don’t know, maybe in your view, is autism something that is visible physically, or it’s something that has something to do?

[00:08:37.330] – David:

It is visible in people if you know how to look for a locus. Some people with higher autism needs would probably be showing autism. Some people don’t. It’s almost the same with an intellectual disability sometimes. I don’t have a label on my head. I have an intellectual disability.

If you know what I mean. For example, if someone has a physical disability, you can maybe see how they walk, or someone’s blind or partially sighted, they might have a stick, or if someone has hearing problems, they may have a hearing aid.

[00:09:11.130] – Lloyd:

Or something. Okay.

[00:09:12.740] – David:

Yeah, it’s the same with mental health. You can’t always tell… You can sometimes tell if a person is really depressed, but sometimes you can’t.

[00:09:20.640] – Lloyd:

Sometimes you can’t as well, right? It depends. So what’s the difference between intellectual disability in your perspective and autism?

[00:09:29.300] – David:

Intell disability is the thing that I was born. So you have to have an intellectual disability to be part of services and things. I guess I was classed as a slow learner. I think my intellectual disability is because of a lack of oxygen when I was born or even before I was born.

[00:09:50.110] – Lloyd:

Did they say you had a lack of oxygen at that time?

[00:09:53.990] – David:

Yeah, but that’s what I believe it was. When I was born, I don’t know how old I was, but I was classed as having a lazy eye. And what I mean by that, my right eye wouldn’t do as much work as my left eye. So I remember having a couple of eye operations when I was very young.

And also remember having to wear a patch over my left eye sometimes. And in those days, the patch wasn’t a proper eye patch, it was a big piece of elastoplasty. And the reason that because it was to make my right eye work because I was often told that if my left eye failed or something, I could probably lose my sight or something.

[00:10:33.160] – Lloyd:

But you didn’t lose your sight, right? No. I mean, it fixed itself.

[00:10:37.000] – David:

Well, I wouldn’t say it’s fixed, but it’s probably as good as it’s ever going to be.

[00:10:41.510] – Lloyd:

Tell me about Inclusion International.

[00:10:45.550] – David:

Well, Inclusion International is a worldwide organization for people with intellectual disabilities and their families and people with autism in their families. So it’s a global network.

[00:10:57.900] – Lloyd:

Tell me about your experience in that. You travelled a.

[00:11:01.350] – David:

Lot, right? Yes, I’ve travelled just about over most countries of the world. I think there’s only two continents I don’t think I’ve been to. One’s Antarctica and the other is Africa. Okay. i was on Inclusion International for 12 years as a Asia Pacific self-advocacy representative. And the reason why I say self-advocacy, so I’m a self advocate. I advocate for myself.

[00:11:26.750] – Lloyd:

And things. Wow, that’s amazing because people will need to advocate for themselves, right? And no one will advocate rather than the person.

[00:11:34.670] – David:

I do get some help with people advocating sometimes. And sometimes they make some good decisions for me, and sometimes they don’t make some good decisions.

[00:11:44.180] – Lloyd:

So you prefer much of you making the decision?

[00:11:47.790] – David:

Yeah. I realise sometimes people have to make decisions, but if they can consult with me, it’s the best way. Ask me, do I want to do these things?

[00:11:56.840] – Lloyd:

And you live by yourself?

[00:11:58.930] – David:

Yes, I currently live I currently live by myself in a flat, yes. And a house that’s owned by myself and my family, yes.

[00:12:05.410] – Lloyd:

Going back to that Inclusion International journey, what countries have you been? I know you mentioned globally almost, but can you perhaps name what’s probably your top three countries?

[00:12:17.890] – David:

I’ve been to Nepal about three or four times, and I’ve been to Bangkok about three or four times, and I’ve been to London a few times. So I’ve been to Washington, I’ve been to Boston, I’ve been to Berlin, I’ve been to Madrid.

[00:12:33.280] – Lloyd:

How did you find the travel? I mean, you being representing yourself.

[00:12:38.540] – David:

I found the travel quite strainless at times. But fortunately, when I was on Inclusion International, I had different support people who supported me. I had one person for about six years, and then she left to do other work, and I had different people in between.

So I’ve had people, and I’m really grateful for one of the PA’s that I actually made our travel less stressful and things.

[00:13:05.370] – Lloyd:

What is the most memorable activity or work you’ve done for Inclusion International?

[00:13:13.170] – David:

Actually working with other people with intellectual disability and things. I remember going to a conference in Berlin, and I think I was supposed to be the third person to do the presentation. We’re debating who would go. And someone said, Well, David, you can go first.

And then, well, I didn’t really have much choice to say, I don’t really want to go first. And I did.

[00:13:34.030] – Lloyd:

What’s your experience like? Are you nervous?

[00:13:37.510] – David:

I wasn’t nervous. I guess sometimes when doing presentations, I may be nervous afterwards. My knees might start shaking afterwards. I sometimes think, how did I go? But one of the hardest bits was because I used lots of sense of humour and things. And because it was translated into lots of different languages, I don’t think they could understand the Kiwis sense of humour.

[00:14:01.020] – Lloyd:

Even when I was new here and there are Kiwis that I met who I never knew they were already telling jokes. And I’m doing this poker face like, what? Is that a joke? Yeah, that’s a joke. And then, yeah, that’s a joke. Okay.

[00:14:15.970] – David:

And I suppose in the Philippines and things that people might tell a joke and New Zealanders might not understand. That’s correct. We’ve all got different ways of dealing with things. And for sometimes you’ve got to tell a person that they got a joke and things.

And I guess some of them actually apply to people with autism. I remember reading a book from the IHC library once about autism. And it said you almost got to explain to people sometimes that you were joking, is people with autism may take things seriously.

An example was, watch out for mum. In other words, if you’re at home and mum’s away and you’ve broken something or done something wrong, you send someone to keep a look out for mum. Mum’s coming along, so hopefully you can fix it up before mom comes home.

But sometimes if you tell a person with autism to keep a look out for mom, if mom’s just gone out to work at eight o’clock and you tell a person eight o’clock to watch out for mom, they may be standing at the whole gate till five o’clock till mom comes home. But other people might just say, Oh, we’re only joking.

[00:15:26.520] – Lloyd:

So do you think that’s true? I f I would say a joke, you might find it like, I’m serious about it?

[00:15:34.330] – David:

Yes. Sometimes I may get things in my head and think maybe Lloyd’s joking, but I might have to come up to you and say, Are you actually joking?

[00:15:44.210] – Lloyd:

Right. And sometimes you’re able to get the cue that it’s a joke?

[00:15:50.180] – David:

Yeah. But sometimes I may talk to other people and so I might say, Hey, David, did you realise that he was joking with you or something?

[00:15:57.930] – Lloyd:

Okay. And then if you found out that it’s a joke, obviously you’re able to laugh at it.

[00:16:08.850] – David:

That’s amazing. One of the things I never knew for a long time about people with autism is they don’t always look people in the eyes. Remember being told from lots of people, look me in the eye. And I used to find it hard to look people in the eyes. Yeah.

[00:16:24.160] – Lloyd:

Why is that? I’m curious because my son also does that to me. And I want to see him or I want to see how he sees the world.

[00:16:32.390] – David:

It’s just the way that people with autism are. I don’t know why. Everyone does different things.

[00:16:38.010] – Lloyd:

In your journey, when you found out, or maybe during your younger years, what’s the most challenging part of your journey as an autistic person or a person.

[00:16:49.690] – David:

With intellectual disability? I guess actually wanting to try and do the same thing as other people. And knowing that I can’t do something, I can’t drive a car and things. I did try many years ago, but I was able to ride a motorbike. I probably wasn’t the safest on a motorbike. I think my mother was probably glad when I decided to get rid of motorbikes.

[00:17:09.140] – Lloyd:

You were able to drive motorbikes? Yeah. And you’re driving?

[00:17:14.430] – David:

Yeah. I was able to ride motorbikes but not drive cars because I guess I probably don’t have 100 % hand and eye coordination.

[00:17:22.760] – Lloyd:

But you’ve tried. You tested it. Maybe I can try if it’s not.

[00:17:28.340] – David:

Yeah, I did go and have a go at testing some of the in the car and decided it probably wasn’t for me.

[00:17:35.180] – Lloyd:

What else did you try when you’re growing up?

[00:17:39.690] – David:

I was able to ride a push bike and things, and I went to clubs and scouts the same as other people and things.

[00:17:45.440] – Lloyd:

Yeah, seems like you can do what other people can also do.

[00:17:50.790] – David:

Yeah. What do.

[00:17:52.040] – Lloyd:

You think are your super powers as an autistic person?

[00:17:55.660] – David:

I think it’s actually having lots of knowledge in my head and and things, memory. One of the things I guess I’m really good at, as someone might say, David corner can say things in about 10 seconds. It may take us 10 minutes to sum up or something.

[00:18:12.190] – David:

I guess I’m a person who often, I guess I’m a person who speaks first and then thinks afterwards. Maybe I should have said that sometimes. Do you.

[00:18:20.830] – Lloyd:

Regret things?

[00:18:22.930] – David:

Like you said? Sometimes, yeah. But in the end, it’s said so. I often think, gee, I often think, I wish I could put things in a speech bubble, if you know what I mean. So I could say thing in a speech bubble, and if it’s right, leave it. But if it’s not, you could pop it and it disappears. Yeah, it’s good.

[00:18:42.770] – Lloyd:

Do you read books?

[00:18:44.730] – David:

Yes, I do. I quite like reading sports books and adventure books and things. And I used to have just about the whole collection of a series called Biggles books when I was little. Tell me.

[00:18:55.590] – Lloyd:

About that. I don’t know.

[00:18:56.910] – David:

About that. Okay. So Biggles was a fictional story about a person in the First and Second World Wars who flew a Soakworth Campbell aeroplane. And after the wars, he became a detective and flew all over the world and things with his mates.

[00:19:13.450] – Lloyd:

Does it have different series or it’s just one book?

[00:19:16.570] – David:

Yeah, there’s a different series. I think there’s about 90 books and all or something. That’s a lot.

[00:19:21.340] – Lloyd:

You have a collection of that.

[00:19:23.100] – David:

I don’t anymore. I used to have them. But when I moved from Dunedin to Wellington, I think I lived in a house that had borer. What I mean by borer is stuff in the woodworks and things. And I think over time, they’d come out of the woodwork and started nibbling away at the pages of the books.

[00:19:39.520] – Lloyd:

And then looking at getting some copies of these books?

[00:19:45.510] – David:

No, I gave them all away and things. And this day and age, with the internet, if I want to read, I can probably download it.

[00:19:54.160] – Lloyd:

Yeah, right. And probably everything is in your head if your memory is very good.

[00:19:59.800] – David:

Yeah. And lots of the books have actually changed over the years from what they originally were because I think because I’ve been politically correct.

I think because Biggles used to hang out with about three other people. And I think in this day and age, it’s almost the same with TV programs. When TV, I quite like watching some of the old classic British programs. And some of the words that were used in the programs back then wouldn’t be allowed nowadays in things. What do.

[00:20:30.970] – Lloyd:

You think would you advise for parents like me so that we can support our children?

[00:20:35.800] – David:

I think it’s really good to actually spend some time getting to know your children and actually spend the time getting to know other people of autism and things and to look on the internet and things and to read books and things. Because there are lots of people of autism who may not even know they got autism and things.

There are lots of actors. I remember reading about Robin Williams. I know he’s passed away now. He played from Mork and Mork and Mindy and other things. And unless he had a sign on top of his head, Hey, I got autism, I wouldn’t know.

[00:21:14.550] – Lloyd:

If a person suspects that he or she suspects that they have autism, what’s your advice?

[00:21:22.580] – David:

Well, to maybe try and follow it up if you can. Maybe try and go to a specialist and thing. Is there.

[00:21:33.430] – Lloyd:

A queue for you? What queue have you experienced in yourself when you feel like, Oh, maybe I have autism or something?

[00:21:43.020] – David:

Well, I haven’t really noticed it myself, but other people do. I got a fantastic memory, I guess. I’m very good at sports quizzes and things in history. My grandma used to say, If anyone wanted to know anything, ask your dad, but he knows. Example, the other week when I was up in in Alkline, I was talking to my sister. We’re talking about dates and things. And she said her wedding day on such and such a year was on the 30th of the month. And I said, Well, excuse me, it’s actually the 29th of the month. And then she looked at it, Well, you’re all right.

[00:22:17.830] – Lloyd:

Can still remember a lot of things that happened when you’re young?

[00:22:21.240] – David:

Yeah.

[00:22:21.780] – Lloyd:

All right.

[00:22:22.630] – David:

Still remember. And I’m quite focused on time sometimes. I may be bad myself with times, but if I go to a meeting, I often ask, What time is it going to be there? And someone might say nine o’clock and I will try and be there by nine. I normally expect other people to be on time, but I’m not always there. Right.

[00:22:40.670] – Lloyd:

And even going to work, even going to gatherings and stuff like that, you’re always on time.

[00:22:50.970] – David:

I wouldn’t say I’m always on time, but I try and be on time.

[00:22:55.530] – Lloyd:

Then what advice do you think you can give to the community about autism and about…

[00:23:01.320] – David:

I think to actually take a look at themselves. I think everyone has got some form of autism in them, but they may not actually know what it is in things. By reading up on books and things, it might help people understand and learn the way that they do.

[00:23:19.150] – Lloyd:

Do you think in terms of neurodiversity… I heard this from someone who has autism as well, and she said that everyone is neurodiverse. Do you think that’s true and correct?

[00:23:31.080] – David:

Yeah.

[00:23:31.540] – Lloyd:

In what sense?

[00:23:34.870] – David:

Just that is. We’re all different and things.

[00:23:41.240] – David:

Another way where I sometimes got autism, I do find it hard when interviewing or something to sit down and have my hands folded or something like that. Yeah, I think that’s normal.

[00:23:51.470] – Lloyd:

Sometimes I do this mannerism, I also do that.

[00:23:58.250] – David:

Well, people might say, Hey, you got autism. You may do that.

[00:24:01.940] – Lloyd:

But sometimes, whenever I’m having conversation with my wife about my kids, and this is just us with me and my wife trying to figure it out.

And sometimes we have these autistic behaviours, which are sometimes we’re steaming sometimes. We’re not aware about it because we’re having conversations. But come to think of it, sometimes if you have a pen, you’ve seen some people click pens, right? Yeah.

[00:24:33.730] – David:

That’s an autistic behavior. My class is normal until someone points out, Hey, that’s autistic behavior.

[00:24:40.600] – Lloyd:

How is your community and environment accepting you as an autistic person?

[00:24:48.370] – David:

Well, they just accept me as a normal person. I’m honest and say I’m a person with intellectual disability and autism.

I self disclose, and that’s what I mean. And the reason why I say that is if I go to a conference, I say I’m a person with intellectual disability and autism, but the other speakers might just say their name, not disclose about who they are and things. But yeah. Do you.

[00:25:16.270] – Lloyd:

Think that’s important, disclosing that?

[00:25:18.920] – David:

I think it helps people to relate to things, and it also helps people to get to know. And if they know afterwards, it helps when they go up,

Hey, it’s really helpful for me as a person for intellectual disability and autism. I understand why you’re at that way and things, but yeah. But I’m part of my local community. I work with other people with disability and non disabled, and I also play outdoor bowls and things.

I play outdoor bowls, which are lawn bowls. And another name for lawn bowls used to be called geriatric marbles. And the reason why that, because older people used to play bowls and things. But now there are lots of younger people. So I’m treated just the same as other people. I play bowls. I got a volunteer friend in the community for who I actually meet up with coffee sometimes. But I’m also a volunteer for another person with intellectual disability, online volunteer. So I enjoy meeting up with people and things here. Wow. And I’ve got a good history of movies and things here.

[00:26:24.400] – Lloyd:

Yeah. And it seems like you’ve accomplished a lot, it sounds to me.

[00:26:29.630] – David:

Yes, by having lots of different support from different people in different areas and things. And it’s actually having the people to understand sometimes. If someone tries to show you something and it doesn’t work, it’s really good. If someone says, Hey, let’s try it another way.

When I started playing indoor balls, I’m left handed, and I had a right handed person try and teach me how to play balls when it’s different handed. And then someone else said, Well, hang on, I’ll spend some time with David.

[00:26:59.370] – Lloyd:

And then do you remember having some frustrations in your life about things that you cannot do?

[00:27:06.470] – David:

Yes, lots of frustrations all the time.

[00:27:09.440] – Lloyd:

So how did you manage that?

[00:27:11.850] – David:

Just get through them. Sometimes you got to think about things and let things go and then learn. I guess I get frustrated sometimes with my family sometimes. When I went away on holiday recently, my sister said I had to text her each day to let her know I didn’t have COVID and things.

I was away from home and things. And the first morning she actually run me up because I hadn’t text her on time. And she said, can you please text me by 10 o’clock and let you know I’m okay? You’re okay, that’s fine. And she said, if you send me a text, I’ll respond.

But I sent her a text one night and she didn’t respond till the morning. And if I start a panic and send her lots of texts, why don’t you respond? Excuse me, this is my life. I’ll respond when I want to. Do you.

[00:27:56.380] – Lloyd:

Think they’re just concerned about your safety?

[00:27:59.590] – David:

Yeah. I understand that my family and they do things because they care and things. Everyone reacts in different ways sometimes.

[00:28:09.790] – Lloyd:

Yeah. I think you have an amazing family because they are concerned about you and.

[00:28:15.420] – David:

They love you.

[00:28:16.560] – Lloyd:

Yeah.

[00:28:17.300] – David:

I’m very lucky because when I was young, I used to spend lots of time going to my grandparents in Auckland and things.

[00:28:23.190] – Lloyd:

So how is your experience going to Auckland? Yeah, good.

[00:28:27.160] – Lloyd:

Is it far away? I mean, of course, from here it’s far away. But what I mean is in terms of your travel, did you get upset about the?

[00:28:35.190] – David:

No. I think when I was little, I used to travel up and spend time with my grandparents. I used to enjoy traveling to A lton to see my grandparents and my aunts and uncles and nieces and nieces.

[00:28:45.980] – Lloyd:

Right. And then do you have any, what do you call that, any instances where you needed to regulate your emotions or regulate your personal.

[00:28:57.390] – David:

Inner be? There are lots of times when I do get worked up, sometimes I have to calm down and things.

[00:29:03.890] – Lloyd:

Yeah. So what do you do? I’m just curious, what do you do with those times?

[00:29:08.080] – David:

Try and count to 10 if I can, or go for a long walk or do something, read a book or something, or just relax and things.

And that’s where I think playing outdoor bowls is really good. We often laugh because when I play outdoor bowls, we have a beer after the game. But sometimes we often think, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a beer before the game? Then if we played bad bowls, we’d have a good excuse.

[00:29:34.880] – Lloyd:

So you’re drinking beer as well?

[00:29:38.050] – David:

Yeah. I like the odd little bit of alcohol and things.

[00:29:43.240] – Lloyd:

Do you have any allergies, as part of your autism?

[00:29:46.530] – David:

No, I don’t.

[00:29:48.020] – Lloyd:

That’s good.

[00:29:48.700] – David:

The only other condition which I have is probably a slight mental health condition.

[00:29:55.160] – Lloyd:

What is that like? Is that the intellectual disability?

[00:29:59.300] – David:

That’s almost related to my intellectual disability because one of the good things and the bad things about intellectual disability is it can mask things, I guess. Sometimes one disability, people might see David’s intellectual disability, they may not see the order of it. But I do have a little bit of depression. Many years ago when I lived in a place called Dunedin, I had a girlfriend and got engaged to her and I didn’t really understand about mental health.

I was trying to do everything to help her because she was going through mental health problems with her neighbours and I think the police were called and things here. I was trying to do everything to help her and not realise about my own health.

So I got run down and things and someone said, Well, you got depression. I said, Well, I didn’t really understand depression. I realised there are lots of people in depression and hospitals and things. But just understanding. I think everyone has depression. I mean, if the All Blacks happen to lose to Australia tonight, well, all the All Blacks for supporters, they had depression tomorrow. Yeah, but fine.

[00:31:08.420] – Lloyd:

So how are you coping with your depression?

[00:31:12.260] – David:

Yeah, I’m coping really well. I mean, I got pills if I need them. And sometimes if I’m traveling overseas, I might take them. But yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:20.440] – Lloyd:

Okay, that’s good. Any final message to any autistic individuals or autistic person that you wanted to say to them as an advice?

[00:31:29.020] – David:

I guess just be yourself. We’re all our own people. We may be able to do the same things as other people, but just do things your own way and things. Live your own life. The hardest thing with autism and intellectual disability is sometimes it’s set in it.

Once you know you got it and it’s set, you get on with life a lot better. There is nothing wrong with having autism. Some of the best scientists, if you went on the web today, on the internet today and looked up things, you’d probably see lots of things about different people, people that you wouldn’t know who have a heart to them. Just look.

[00:32:11.280] – Lloyd:

That’s amazing.

[00:32:16.710] – Lloyd:

Thank you for your time.

[00:32:18.300] – David:

Appreciate your time.

About Takiwātanga

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I Am Lloyd I AM

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