Oh the elusive Blue Badge! This is a reference to a UK-wide parking badge scheme for disabled people. Autistic people are legally classified as disabled – see my post on disability law – and yet trying to claim your Blue Badge can seem like the impossible dream.

There is no consistent ruling with who qualifies for one. And the rules vary between the different parts of the UK. It’s supposedly all about PIP points, according to the dreadful Swansea Blue Badge team, and yet I know plenty of autistic people who have never even applied for PIP and still have a Blue Badge.

My ten little PIP points for ‘planning and following a journey’ don’t give an automatic right to a Blue Badge in England, but they do at least allow you enough leeway that if you make a good case – i.e. you can’t find your car in a carpark because of your inability to navigate, or that you walk in front of traffic because you are so focussed on that one rehearsed route etc, or that travelling causes you extreme levels of stress etc. In my part of Wales, 10 points gets you instantly turned down on the phone with, it has to be said, a certain amount of glee in the voice of the woman in charge.

Having said that, PIPless friends of mine in England have applied, explaining how difficult going out and about is for them. How, unless they can visualise their exact route, they can’t even contemplate the journey because they’re so riddled with anxiety, and they have now got Blue Badges.

There, as with so many facets to being autistic, are no clear rules. I’d recommend applying anyway, you have nothing to lose. You may be fortunate enough to live in a more enlightened area of the UK.

Or, you could take a more dramatic course of action and move to the Outer Hebrides (like me) where there are a few simple routes and no parking problems!