Welcome to me!
As you will no doubt have seen, or heard, my pseudonym is Tobey Alexander and I am a late-diagnosis autistic adult. I hate the term "high functioning" but that's supposedly where I sit. What I have found over recent years is I have a story to tell and people take a lot from the public events I am involved with.
It's my intention to simply share my perspective of my autism in the hope of helping raise awareness and break down barriers. I think I'm in a fortunate position where I am able to share my life and help people see beyond the label. In the coming months I will be recording a series of videos giving you insight into my world, my story and my experiences in the hope it can help people understand a little more.
I have had the pleasure of guest speaking about neurodiversity and my journey on a National (UK) stage for organisations such as Nottinghamshire Police, Lincolnshire Police, Derbyshire Constabulary and also featured on podcasts and vlogs around the world. This series of videos is simply me being me and I hope you'll find them insightful and useful.
While they will be hosted on YouTube and other media forms, for the most part I'll be turning comments off on videos as, sadly, I have already experienced some negative reactions to me sharing my life and one thing I struggle with is self-confidence and belief so rather than open myself up for trolling, I'll accept emails and contact through a designated email address listed on each video.
I hope you find this useful.
Welcome to my world of neurodiversity awareness! I am publicly known as Tobey Alexander and outside of that Gavin "Gav" Skevington, and I invite you to join me on a transformative journey that has shaped who I am today. From a young age, I knew my world was unique, struggling to form connections that others seemed to effortlessly forge. As I navigated my path through life, I found solace in films, fiction, and cinema - my "special interest" that offered comfort and understanding in a complex world.
Unveiling Identity and Seeking Understanding:
The quest to understand myself led me to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a singular focus: "understanding why I am the way I am." During my studies, autism, as a subject, resonated deeply with me, providing insights that struck a chord within. Growing up in the 80s, society often adopted a "hide and don't speak" mentality towards neurodiversity, prompting me to become proficient in the art of masking. Although this allowed me to succeed in a successful career, my true identity lay concealed in the shadows, awaiting its moment of revelation.
A Genetic Discovery and A Parent's Realisation:
Life took an unexpected turn when it was revealed that I carried a rare genetic deletion associated with the CACNA1C Gene, known as Timothy Syndrome. The realisation that I had unknowingly passed this genetic trait to my three children brought forth feelings of guilt and urgency. Observing my children's unique traits and struggles mirrored my own experiences, sparking the desire to break free from the chains of concealment.
A Turning Point:
The catalyst for change emerged during an autism assessment for my youngest son. Witnessing the assessment process for my child ignited the determination to undergo my own evaluation. Thanks to the pioneering research conducted by the esteemed team at Cardiff University, I gained invaluable insights into my neurodivergent identity. With newfound understanding, I have embarked on a path of acceptance and authenticity.
Advocating for a Brighter Future:
Today, in my wiser years, I embrace the opportunity to shape a future where neurodiversity is celebrated and individuals feel comfortable in their own skin. I am determined to break down the barriers of maladaptive coping mechanisms, encouraging a society that fosters inclusivity and acceptance. I may not claim to be extraordinary, but my experiences and growth have ignited a passion for advocacy, inspiring others to find solace in their unique identity.
Join Me on This Journey:
As you browse through this website, I invite you to explore the myriad of topics related to autism and neurodiversity awareness. Let us come together to dismantle stigmas, promote understanding, and celebrate the beauty of diversity. In sharing my story, I hope to spark a sense of inspiration in others, fostering a world where everyone can look in the mirror and embrace their authentic selves without fear or shame.
Together, let's embark on this remarkable journey of self-discovery and advocacy for a brighter, more inclusive future.