Life on the Autism spectrum

Ian - Interview 13b

Male
Age at interview: 22
Age at diagnosis: 8

Brief outline: Ian is 22 and was diagnosed with autism with he was 8 years old. He is currently doing a vocational waiting at table course and is interested in palaeontology and film making.

Background: Ian is 22 years old. He is single and is a student. Ethnic background/nationality: English.

Audio & video

 Ian is 22 and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 8 years old. During his school years 5 to 11 he was educated in a special school for children with moderate learning difficulties well versed in AS, and feels that going to a special school was crucial in enabling him to get to where he is today. After school he started a course specific for students with special needs at a mainstream college, but soon left as he felt the students were treated “like kids” regardless of the severity of their condition. Ian moved on to mainstream college courses and has completed a catering course and is now doing a vocational waiting at table course and a two year computer course.
 
Ian is creative and in his spare time he does content creation for simulator computer games. He also enjoys making films with his friends; they are currently creating a spoof of the drama series Charmed. He is also very interested in palaeontology and regularly goes on paleontological digs to find fossils. 
 
Making friends used to be difficult for Ian, but he now finds it much easier and enjoys an active social life. He mostly mixes with people who have autism, Asperger’s or learning difficulties, as he feels they understand each other better. Although, he does get on with other people, he finds he cannot adapt to their environment or “be like them”. Ian thinks that he has been lucky because his special interest in palaeontology is shared by a lot of people.
 
In the future Ian sees himself getting a job waiting on tables. He considers himself to be fairly self-sufficient as he is able to cook and manage his own money. When he is ready he plans to leave the family home and live independently with some support organising things such as utility bills. Ian also intends to travel the world with his friends while going on paleontological digs. 
 

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