Sunday, October 13, 2013

The parting glass.

This has been quite a significant weekend for me, not necessarily because I am getting increasingly careless and forgetful, leaving a bag with my nightclothes and spare underwear in the hotel room, and now glad to be home for a change of underwear and socks, oh no, not for that.

I have now ceased after I think 12 years (or maybe more, I told you I was getting forgetful) on the Council of the NAS and 9 on the Board, to be on either.  I didn't resign, I was pushed. The NAS instituted a constitutional ammendment ( I think the USA could do with a few of those right now) limiting the number of terms one could serve, so it was time for my retirement.

I might have continued on the Council, but I made a decision there was no point. It is always the case that (unless you have done something spectacularly bad in office) you stand a greater chance of being re-elected if you have already been in. I thought that my continuing when there was no chance of progressing back to the board, would only be blocking the opportunities for others who could do so if they were elected onto the Council.

In other words seniority or senility notwithstanding, there is a time to move on and leave it to people with more remaining energy than oneself.  I shall not miss the somewhat stressful journeys to London and back, and the stays in a hotel I have to confess I find less than pleasant (even with clean underwear and socks).

It also means I can potentially change my relationship with the NAS.  I can be more critical (theoretically that is, as I am told I have never particularly pulled any punches in what I have said when I have disagreed with it) but more than that I could engage in a commercial or employment relationship, something I have been unable to do for all those years I have been in governance.

If you should ever catch my little cameo appearance in the NAS "Ask Autism" product/project about to be launched at anytime, I might add I was not paid for that, or anything else I have ever done for the NAS, beyond my train, bus and taxi fares. There you might be enlightened for if they have not edited out I inform the world that I was not by over a decade the first autistic person to be elected onto the board of an autistic organisation, that was Thomas McKean on the Autism Society of America back in the 90's.

I was the first on the board of the NAS though, and as I leave I learn that another was elected on Saturday.  I hope I have done my bit towards making that a less exceptional fact than such things would have been considered in the past.

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