Special interests in neurodiversity


As a change of direction to the usual computer related posts I do, I’d like to share a bit about me. I am much more than the Computer Man, so I’m going to share more of me:


Consider the brain, we all have a brain. Neuroscience is the study of the brain and to neuroscientists, all brains look the same. For the most part, they function the same too. These are called typical brains, or neurotypical shortened to NT brains.

However, a smaller part of the population have diverse variations in how the brain is connected and how it functions, so these are called neurodiverse brains or ND brains.

These changes in the brain interfere with sociability, learning, attention, mood and mental functions.

In the case of autism, these affect social interaction and increased sensitivity to light and sound. However, the flip-side is that we are highly logical which helps us to absorb and remember facts, recognise patterns and have attention to detail.

In the case of ADHD, ability to focus is affected and with inattentive types, memory recall is also affected, so we tend to speak slower and forget things. The flip-side makes us more creative thinkers more likely to think outside the box and bring new energy and ideas to projects.

Special interests

It is common for neurodivergent people to have special interests (obnoxious people call them obsessions) and mine are varied.

Trains and trams

I’ve always been interested in how things work, like how San Francisco trams work up steep hills (they have a steel wire under the road they grip on) or how the power drives a train.

Power generation and distribution

As a kid I read books on power generation, how it was more cost effective to split power into 3 phases to run it across the land to power business and homes and use larger pylons because higher voltage means lower current losses but the distance between cables must be greater to prevent arcing.

Electrical wiring

I wanted to become an electrician until I had a bad experience when I was 13, we had moved house and needed a new boiler; radiators and the like installed by my Uncle, he was a plumber who wouldn’t touch electrical. Two electrical engineers from the factory my father worked at came round and badly wired in the boiler, which failed both times, I reached for a plug that wasn’t connected and was thrown across the room. I decided that if these qualified people can’t get it right, it’s not the industry for me. I sat down and draw out the circuit diagram of the boiler system on an envelope, wired it up and the boiler worked for 35 years until it sprang a leak. 

Radio Amateur

Perhaps one of my lapsed interests, but when I was a kid I joined a radio club that led me to take the Radio Amateur’s Examination when I was 13, I failed the easy part and passed the hard part. I later took what was then called the novice exam, now called intermediate and passed and have a call-sign I never use, 2E1AVG.


I once hypnotised a fellow pupil in school with a pen during a boring maths class which got me interested in hypnosis, and I have a website I wrote on learning hypnosis here.


NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming (basically changing the mind through words) is an extension on the world of hypnosis for me and I trained to NLP Master Practitioner through Toby & Kate McCartney who I can wholeheartedly recommend.


This is more a handyman plumber interest, but my brother-in-law had moved into his new house and needed someone to change the pipes to connect his toilet, sink, bath and shower so I installed them without problem, because it’s just how my mind works, later he decided to take the qualifications to become a plumber.

Adapting stuff

I can’t define this as one particular thing, because it’s as varied as adapting my car to do things it never came with, like installing heated seats (a project for another day) installing a dash cam and reversing cameras. I have a GPS tracker project I’m working on too, so I can locate my car easily from a web page when I have an absent moment. Additionally, I can find out where it was I went to a customer on a certain day for my accounts. I doubt people have geolocational accounts, an element that the tax man doesn’t want to get into…


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