Asperger’s syndrome no barrier to Ally’s writing ambitions

Ally Todd, a young man with Aspergers who has published a book.Wormit Fife. 4 Aug 15

Ally Todd, a young man with Aspergers who has published a book.Wormit Fife. 4 Aug 15

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A young Wormit man with Asperger’s syndrome has embarked on an exciting chapter in his life with the publication of his first novel.

Ally Todd (25) has dreamed of becoming a writer since he was a child and his book, ‘The Game of Grudges’, was the culmination of six years’ work.

It was published earlier this year on Amazon Kindle and has received some very positive reviews.

One reader described it as ‘an excellent debut novel’ while another said it was ‘fast-paced and action-packed’ .

Ally, a former pupil of Wormit Primary School and Madras College, St Andrews, was diagnosed with Asperger’s just four years ago, aged 21.

“Ally found certain social situations difficult but showed remarkable skills in reading and writing,” said his mum, Marion.

“That was why it took so long to realise that he was on the autistic spectrum.

“Writing is his way of expressing himself and communicating with others in an empathetic way.”

The diagnosis was made all the more difficult because when Ally was 13, tragedy struck the family.

His dad Graeme, a detective chief inspector, died of leukaemia and it was thought that Ally’s difficulty with engaging with others was borne out of grief.

But he reacted in the way he knew best, by penning a eulogy to his father, part of which was incorporated in the Order of Service at his funeral.

Loosely set in Dundee, ‘The Game of Grudges’ is aimed at the late teens/early 20s market and features a group of dysfunctional teenagers in their final year at school.

Ally drew on some of his own experiences and ‘back story’ to create the characters and the plot.

“Writing has been his passion for as long as I can recall,” said Marion, who also has a younger son , Euan (23) and a daughter Alicia (20).

“This first novel is the culmination of six years’ writing, plus a fair bit of editing, but already he’s talking of writing a sequel.”