MANY years ago I worked at Apple – I’m very proud of the occasional emails I got from Steve Jobs (company-wide emails, I should say, I wasn’t that special). Back then Apple was this unique hive of innovation, releasing world-altering products like the original iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, all powered by innovation – it was a company truly embodying its slogan: Think Different.

That’s what I thought of when I read Kelly Given’s incredible article on autism and the Learning ­Disabilities, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill (LDAN) (Autistic people are not your cannon fodder in the battle over GRR, March 12).

As an autistic/ADHD person, it’s striking how public discourse focuses so strongly on us as poor wee people needing charity. Funnily enough, even setting aside the insult, this is fundamentally wrong.

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For me, one of life’s greatest joys is to watch someone thrive and meet their potential. Neurodiverse people literally think different (it’s in the name). Humanity cannot advance if everyone thinks the same, homogeny lands us in cultural and intellectual quicksand.

Now more than ever, we need empowered neurodiverse people, trailblazers, to turn the world upside down and drive it forward. If you doubt me, look back at history, at the sorts of people who advanced science, philosophy, the arts, at the history-altering outcasts, the ones who saw things different, who refused to be confined by convention. We have tens of thousands of world changers yearning to be empowered, brimming with potential, waiting for someone to lift them up.

It’s time to pass the LDAN in Holyrood, for the sake of the indy Scotland we want to build. But do not help us because you’re sorry for us, help because you want to see us make the world a better place.

Dr Calum Carswell

EXCELLENT article, Kelly. As a late-diagnosed man with Aspergers who has experienced neurotypical “saviours” first-hand, I have the understanding you articulate so clearly in this article. Keep up the good work – I look forward to reading future articles if they are as excellent as this one.

Examples such as Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham are an inspiration to me as one who has struggled through most of my life without understanding why, being under intense neurotypical pressure to change the way I think and act.

Robert Walker

LIKE many on the independence side, in his piece of March 12 (Is there a constitutional path to Scottish Independence?) Dr Elliot Bulmer ties himself in knots.

He correctly endorses “the right of the people of Scotland to determine our own constitutional future”, but his proposed route of a directly elected Scottish National Convention to write a constitution for Scotland (and how on earth is that meant to be brought about over a Union government which has killed a referendum?) would be powerless, as he himself admits: “I will accept, as a matter of fact, that we cannot, in the absence of revolution, give legal effect to that decision without the approval of the UK Parliament”. In other words, it’s up the garden path.

His convoluted position derives from his surrender to assumed Union omnipotence, which he wrongly sees as having been confirmed by the Supreme Court’s decision on a referendum (whereas in fact its view on secession itself was much more circumspect): “Now we have not only to convince the people of Scotland to want independence, but also to convince the UK Government to let us have it.”

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He rules out using a parliamentary election to vote on independence because it is “fraught with difficulties”, though the only example he gives is that elections are also about other things (to which we might ask, so what?).

The demented impetus on our own side to concoct non-existent problems in the way of independence is also exemplified in Humza Yousaf’s refrain that the only route is by referendum, because if there was another way our brilliant leader would have found it, which completely ignores that fact that that is exactly what the First Minister did when she delivered her ministerial statement to Holyrood and to the country in June last year, putting it unequivocally: “But if the law says that [a referendum] is not possible, the General Election will be a ‘de facto’ referendum.”

Either the people of Scotland have the right, or they do not. If they have the right, then their democratic choice of independence in an election cannot be gainsaid. Neither UK law and constitution, nor international law, holds any impediment to that course.

Virtually the only people who maintain that it would be contradicted by London are within the independence movement, not the Union government.

The sooner they join Nicola Sturgeon in unshackling themselves from that false and subservient notion, the better.

Alan Crocket