Life on the Autism spectrum

Daniel - Interview 24

Age at interview: 32
Age at diagnosis: 23

Brief outline: Daniel was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 23. Daniel also has OCD and worries a lot about offending people.

Background: Daniel, 32, lives with his parents and is an unemployed poet. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Daniel, 32, had Asperger syndrome diagnosed at the age of 23. He didn’t fit in at school and used to be very shy. He attended a BTech National Diploma in Social Care and enjoyed his work placements working with physically disabled people and children. He has not worked since, is depressed and has low self esteem. He finds doing new things difficult and gets anxiety problems. He lives with his parents and feels very safe there, describing himself as the “Peter Pan of Asperger’s”. He lived with a girlfriend for over a year but he did not feel comfortable and wanted to go back to his parent’s house.
Daniel says that he likes having Asperger syndrome because it is logical and almost robotic; “like a terminator with feelings”. Daniel also has OCD and gets what he describes as compulsions. He likes to systematise things and add order to his life usually through numbers. For example, he will listen to his CD’s in a particular order until the 21st day of the month and then listen to the radio for the rest of the month. He will count each mouthful when he eats food and count his breaths when he goes on the bus. One of his main compulsions is a concern that he has said the wrong thing and he worries a lot about this. Daniel writes poetry and enjoys meeting up with other people with Asperger syndrome each week.

Daniel's Poems

Deep Depression Collars Me
Deep depression collars me
It is getting shirty
I wonder is it in my jeans
I can not win, but I tie
I button it to survive
For what if you saw the real me
Deep depression collars me

You gave the earth to me
But kept me in captivity
Until I could see
The cost to be freed

Ghost in Me
You're so beautiful
You make me whole
I love a woman that I've never seen
But she seems real in my dreams
As echoes of the past replay presently
Ghosts write while Im in my sleep
They move my hand rapidly
Until I can no longer feel any doubt within me
I reach out
But you scream
You've seen the ghost in me



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