Interview with an older Aspie

Emma Thomson

1. How old were you when you were diagnosed?

I was 35 when I was diagnosed.

2. Do you wish you were diagnosed earlier than you were?

I do because I would have known a lot earlier that there was a reason why I was the way I was. I would have also learned how to cope with people misunderstanding me. Also I would have been given more support as school and at work.

3. What do you feel caused your Aspergers syndrome?

I was born with the umbilical cord around my neck which resulted in oxygen deprivation at birth.

4. What jobs have you had? How did you find them?

A packer of shoe soles - The job was found for me by an employment rehabilitation centre that I attended.

Several temporary clerical jobs that I found at the job centre and when looking in the paper.

A packer of watches which I found at the job centre.

An Office Assistant at a hospital, which I found in the paper

5. How did you find your school days? What was your experiences?

I did find school difficult. I was bullied at the High School and the Upper School. I had a friend who stuck up for me which made a bit of a difference. I was also bullied at the college of further education that I was at.

6. Who would you say supported you the most? Why do you think that?

My Mum supported me the most because she understood me and she accepted me unconditionally. She gave me one to one attention and she helped me to do well in life.

7. What has been the best part of your life?

The best part of my life has been in having friends who understand me and accept me as I am.

8. What has been the worst part of your life?

The worst part of my life was losing my Mum. We were very close and I really do miss her. I also miss the support that she gave me. I also miss sharing my life with her.

9. Do you feel that at the age you are now that you are independent enough to live an independent life?

I would say that I have become more independent since my Mum died, in terms of being able to shop, cook, wash and iron for myself, but I would need support when my Dad dies. I don't think that I will ever be able to be completely independent.

10. Do you reckon that with all the publicity about autism/AS and related disorders that people will gain understanding and slowly change the way Aspies/Autistics are dealt with and what services are open to them?

I do feel that things are changing slowly, Autism and Asperger Syndrome are better known now than when I was a child. I do think that services are gradually improving, but there will always be people that either can't or don't want to understand. You can't make people understand. You don't have to spend much time with them though.

Republished courtesy of A.S.S.G.O.

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