It’s the inabil­i­ty of peo­ple at any lev­el in bureau­cra­cies, par­tic­u­lar­ly big gov­ern­ment but often big busi­ness too, to come face to face with issues.

Staff at our coun­ty run pub­lic hos­pi­tal no longer look you in the eye when you pass by – 8 years ago their lev­el of cour­tesy and acknowl­edge­ment of the indi­vid­ual was pal­pa­ble, now it’s disappeared.

Employ­ees and con­trac­tors run­ning a major project with­in my city nev­er respond to let­ters of query the first time around – we are talk­ing about a project worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars of our tax money!

Our local school sys­tem ‘loses’ chil­dren in its com­put­er sys­tem and then fails to noti­fy vol­un­teers of what’s hap­pened – and then – the sys­tem con­tin­ues to send mail out to the vol­un­teer despite a point­ed request to be tak­en off the sys­tem’s mail­ing list. 

My local lit­er­a­cy pro­gram cou­pled a 64 year old stu­dent, who has nev­er been able to read and write, with adult stu­dents who were high­ly edu­cat­ed in oth­er coun­tries – there is no com­par­i­son – one has a high lev­el of lit­er­a­cy the oth­er has none. Why did it have to be brought to the atten­tion of the system?

The sys­tems are ‘autistic’ — they don’t look you in the eye, they don’t com­mu­ni­cate with you, they sim­ply do not under­stand what the world is all about. The sys­tems are as impris­oned in their world as autis­tic chil­dren are pris­on­ers of theirs.

Unless and until we get our insti­tu­tions out of their ‘autistic’ mind­set we can’t hope to get autis­tic chil­dren out of theirs.