THIS week a friend sent me the despicable video of Warwickshire Tory councillors that has been doing the rounds on social media.

In the video, local councillor Jeff Morgan questioned whether children with ADHD were just simply “badly behaved”, his colleague Brian Hammersley asked if “there’s something in the water” alluding to the rise in diagnosis of children and their colleague Clare Golby moaned that “parents are swapping tips on how to get their children diagnosed”.

As a neurodivergent person, coming up against backwards interpretations of who and what you are is part and parcel of everyday life.

It’s an unfortunate reality that we are not yet experiencing a world where we have secured equality in any general sense. And it will likely be some time yet before we see that kind of tide-turning progress given that the first person ever diagnosed with autism only just passed away within the last year.

Autism and neurodivergence is still a relatively new subject area for most, and because of its infancy both in clinical and societal terms, the knowledge and understanding of it is constantly evolving. Things we thought to be true of it 10 years ago sit in direct contrast to the things we now know about it. We have quite literally witnessed a paradigm shift in our knowledge.

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It’s inevitable – and to an extent, almost understandable – that societal thinking and attitudes have not yet caught up to the accurate lived experience.

At the same time as trying to be heard and our genuine lived experience taken seriously, we are trying to unravel decades of bad practice and misunderstandings that have been solidified into gospel both across society generally, and perhaps more challengingly, across the medical understanding of who we are, by an overwhelming representation of neurotypical research into our experience.

While that’s difficult for those of us who live this reality every day, I accept that the development of societal understanding and social acceptance takes its sweet time, and we are moving in the right direction – albeit incredibly slowly and somewhat painfully.

And I accept that people of this particular persuasion are probably quite unlikely to ever change their perspective or open themselves to the possibility of any other truth outwith their own, because they live in a bubble of privilege that the truth has no business permeating. But this? I cannot and will not defend.

Whether wider understanding is behind the times or not, there’s no plausible way that in 2024 you have not paid the slightest bit of attention to the developments and advancements in neurodiversity research. Even more so if you are tasked with allocating funding to service provisions for the very people at the centre of the topic.

The National: Special needs children school places

There’s no way that you somehow managed to convince an electorate to vote for you, but lack the basic analytical skills to comprehend why a rise in diagnosis since the 1960s might be attributed to something deeper than a perplexingly unquenchable thirst for diagnosis amongst parents.

The ignorance of it is almost comical in its sheer stupidity. The laziest category of ableism there is. The way they delivered their quips with a smirk indicative of nothing other than their deeply poor – embarrassingly so – understanding of the topic at hand.

Though I wish it was merely a trio of idiots sharing their unsubstantiated opinions.

Dangerously, for the neurodivergent children of Warwickshire, these people have real influence. Influence to further strangle services that are already on their knees, at the expense of children who need and whose lives depend on the support that is at their behest.

And in the same week that the Tories released their brand-spanking Disability Action Plan no less.

Let’s unpack that steaming pile of excrement while we’re at it, shall we?

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A plan that, on the surface, claimed it would make the UK “the most accessible place in the world for disabled people to live, work and thrive”, but that failed to offer anything at all in terms of housing, transport, social care, benefits, hate crime or healthcare and quietly removes funding from home adaptation grants. Its biggest (and only) achievement being the 32 pages of paper it wastes.

And in the same week again as the final cost of living payment finally reaches bank accounts across the UK – but won’t ever reach the accounts of a large portion of disabled people because we were left out of the eligibility criteria, despite being the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis that they so generously politically crafted.

It’s been quite the week to be disabled in the UK. Bin and fire spring to mind.

Nothing at all surprises me about this lot anymore, they are the pits of the earth in terms of political entities and while I have a similar distaste for Keir Starmer and his Tory-cosplaying efforts (that’s a whole other column), I can’t wait to see the back of them come the General Election.

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They have made a colossal mess of these islands in a way I’m not sure we could even have anticipated when they first got the keys to Number 10 back into their grimy hands, and I think they themselves are an entirely different category of Tory to the ones that took office 14 long years ago – and the first were bad enough.

I won’t by any means be celebrating a Starmer government, but I will be enthusiastically toasting the downfall of Rishi Sunak and his cronies when it inevitably comes later in the year. I might even use my eye-wateringly generous £10 Christmas bonus from the DWP to buy the bubbly.

So, it’s a final Tory-shaped knife in the backs of the disabled community before they are relegated to the opposition benches.

If only they’d be permanently relegated to the unfavourable history books where they belong – like they would be if it was up to Scotland.