Life on the Autism spectrum

Laurie - Interview 53

Female

Brief outline: Laurie, 46, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was 44. She is starting a university course in journalism and works part time as a market researcher.

Background: Laurie, a student, lives with her three children. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Laurie, 46, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was 44. She had been researching autism on behalf of her youngest child, who is now 13, when she realised that the experiences she was reading about were very similar to her own. For example, she was a loner as a child, had difficulties with relationships and always found it difficult to make life plans. She decided she wanted the diagnosis because it was important to her to know that she had AS rather than there being anything wrong with her. She followed the recommendations on the National Autistic Society website and was diagnosed quite quickly.
 
After having two children, Laurie split up from their father and she had a third child with a new partner. The baby had a head injury and Laurie and her partner became involved with social services. The baby was placed in foster care for some time but was eventually returned to Laurie and has lived with her ever since. This experience has had a big impact on Laurie despite the passage of time and she feels that she was manipulated by various professionals and was never listened to.
 
Laurie is about to start a university degree in journalism, with support, which includes a laptop, the offer of a note taker and a recorder to tape lectures. She enjoys bike riding, going to the theatre and is involved in a 17th century re-enactment group.    She describes how difficult she finds it to organise her life and that she is “rubbish at relationships”. She thinks her life has been difficult because she lacks “savviness”. She does not have any friends to discuss issues with and says that it is a mystery to her how to go about forming friendships. She feels like a spectator in life and describes how “life just hurts, just hurts being alive.”

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