Paul Stevenson. Tourette Syndrome, co-occurring conditions, ADHD, OCD, Sensory processing Disorder
Name: Paul Stevenson
ND Type/s: Tourette Syndrome, co-occurring conditions, ADHD, OCD, Sensory Processing Disorder
What do you do: Ambassador at Genius Within / Blooming Genius Foundation.
Where do you live: Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland
How did you start your day today? Do you have a morning routine? What do you have for breakfast, do think a good diet is important?
Drink a cup of water, eat cereal, daily meds, one cup of tea.
How do you stay active? And what do you do to relax?
I lift weights in the gym. I get respite from my TS (Tourette Syndrome) via photography and editing.
Do you have a favourite word or phrase?
50p, although this is one of my more pleasant vocal tics. It was inspired by a lyric from a Boom Town Rats song called Rat Trap, “It’s cold on that road, but it’s got that home beat. Deep down in her pocket, she finds 50p. Now is that any way for a young girl to be?”
Have you read anything good recently? Is there a book that changed your life?
Sadly, I have difficulty with reading, but I can highly recommend a book written by Janis Sharp: Extradition a mother’s story about her son Gary Mckinnon, and the battle of extradition, but I might be a little biased, as I appear in the book.
Which 5 albums would you want to have with you on a desert island?
1. The Undertones, The Undertones
2. Out of the Blue, ELO
3. Wish you were here, Pink Floyd.
4. Depeche Mode, Speak & Spell,
5. Depeche Mode, People are people.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?
Never eat yellow snow
When you were young, what did you want to be when you were a grown-up? And what was your first Job?
A dancer on Top of the Pops. Chopping plastic in a plastic reclamation factory.
Creativity and thinking differently are often credited to neurodiversity. Would you say that is true? And if yes, could you give an example?
Yes , I have always been creative, but did not realise its significance until I was diagnosed aged 46. Now I have the privilege of being creative in my job, and I also run a camera creativity workshop.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus, what do you do to get back on track? Do you have any hacks, tips or do you use any apps to keep you on track during the day?
I am often overwhelmed. I have social anxiety and because I have vocal and motor tics, it increases. It’s a vicious circle. I use my phone and editing apps to be creative if I am travelling on public transport, as this environment is a trigger for my anxiety.
How does your Neurodiversity affect new relationships? This can be professionally, socially or romantically?
Because of my TS and ADHD, I lack filters and am easily distracted. Both of these things can create problems within all types of relationships.
What makes you happy?
Raising positive awareness, helping folk, and if I am not able to help in a direct way, it makes me happy to assist and signpost people to the correct support. Thanks to the internet, this can be anywhere in the world.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
It has to be my family, and I am in a privileged position to be able to help the ND community.
Do you have a Positive ND message to the world? Imagine you have a £5 million advertising campaign to spend on billboards all over the world, what would you say?
“I am not broken and don’t need fixing.”
“Some say do not judge a book by its cover, I say do not judge!”
Final question – where can people find out more about you? Do you have a website and social media pages?