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Where were you on April 25th?

Where were you on April 25th? asked Alberto (fictitious name). What do you mean? he answered immediately. I think he's asking you where were you on the 25th April? says Annie (not her real name). And maybe he's referring to last year as today is the 23rd April, comments Annie. Do you think I can remember where I was on the 25th April, exclaims Alberto. Do you think that at the age of fifty five I can remember as well as my children? he asks rhetorically. You couldn't even remember at 35, let alone now," says Annie. You know me well enough, Alberto retorts. And yes, being able to remember these and other commemorative dates for these and other issues is not for me, he continues. I don't even know my own birthday, let alone! she exclaims.

Alberto is fifty-four, almost fifty-five. I was diagnosed with autism several years ago, he says. I don't even remember that anymore, he continues. I know that at the time it had a big impact on my life, he adds. And not everything was negative. There was a lot that was also positive, he says. But I don't remember. I know I was still a child. My sister wasn't even born yet, he concludes. I can remember the time I met Annie, he says smiling. Good! replied Annie also smiling. But that has to do with the fact that it was something more recent. Annie is Albert's wife. They met almost 18 years ago at university. They have two children, Diogo (fictitious name) 14 and Leonor (fictitious name) 12. Diogo like his father is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Leonor is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Where were you on the 25th of April anyway? asked Alberto again. I think they want to know what you were doing when the 25th April revolution took place in 1975, remembers Annie. What? In 1975? asked Alberto. The part about knowing I was eight is easy. Even if I was born in 1967, it's easy to do the maths. Now I don't know what I was doing at that time. I think they want to know how you lived through the transition from dictatorship to freedom, Ana tells him. His wife has always been a person who has helped Alberto to read many of the questions of everyday life. Lately even I fail with my memory, says Ana. Life has been very intense, she says. The end of the dictatorship and the passage to freedom, that's what they want to know! says Alberto. I don't know if they did the right thing in asking me that question," he continued. There are several ways of answering it, he said. I don't know if you are prepared to hear them all, he adds. There is the historical version and I can give you plenty of details about it, not least because I have a deep interest in this area, he says. But I also have my own personal view on the matter. Freedom remains a scarce commodity for many autistic people like me. I myself feel that I have to fight a large part of my days to have the freedom that is an asset acquired by all the people around me. Access to work and conditions that respect my diagnosis still need to be claimed. That's right, claimed, he says in a harsher tone. What I know are data acquired by workers, I still have to fight for. And that's not all, he says. I can see the difficulties my children have at school. And if it weren't for their mother going there every week, things wouldn't go so well. The end of the dictatorship? Sometimes I still have doubts, she says. Because oppression can be experienced in various ways, he concludes.

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Good afternoon, I was wondering if you could send the job interview questions in advance? asked Ana (fictitious name). The other incredulous person even asked her if she was joking. What do you mean?


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