Life on the Autism spectrum

Christopher - Interview 14b

Male
Age at interview: 17
Age at diagnosis: 14

Brief outline: Christopher, 17, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 14. Family is very important to Christopher and he will soon start college to do A-Levels in history and law.

Background: Christopher, 17, lives with his family

Audio & video

Christopher, 17, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 14. He describes how he feels that he is “highly specialised” because he has Asperger syndrome. Christopher believes that more people should be educated about autism to increase awareness and challenge the assumptions which may be made due to films such as Rain Man and Mercury Rising.
 
Family is very important to Christopher and he feels protective and loyal towards them. He enjoys living with his family and does not intend to move out. He finds it difficult to trust people and although he feels a yearning to have more friends he also enjoys his own company and being alone. In his spare time Christopher enjoys using the internet to research topics which interest him and it is not uncommon for him to start exploring the internet in the evening and continue throughout the whole night without noticing the time.
 
Christopher remembers a happy childhood and enjoyed primary school. He found secondary school difficult and describes the experience of transition as “like trying to step over the Grand Canyon”. During secondary school Christopher experienced bullying, this led to his attendance being low and he chose to leave during 6th Form. In spite of this Christopher achieved very good GCSEs. He does feel he would have done even better with more support from the school and a higher attendance rate. Christopher plans to start college to do A-levels in history and law and eventually he intends to go to university. 
 

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