Life on the Autism spectrum

Luke - Interview 35

Male
Age at interview: 18
Age at diagnosis: 8

Brief outline: Luke was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was eight years old. He has written three books and is a keen photographer.

Background: Luke, aged 18, lives with his family and is currently unemployed.

Audio & video

Luke, aged 18, lives with his mother and six brothers and sisters. Asperger syndrome was diagnosed when he was 8 years old. Luke did not like school. He always felt different at school and apart from a small group of friends, tended to be left alone by the other children. The teachers did not understand him and would often make him feel much worse. He left school early and is very involved in photography. He is now setting up an online business to sell his photographs and is thinking about beginning a career in hairdressing.
 
Luke has written three books; A User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism; Asperger Syndrome and ADHD; Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome; and Crystalline Lifetime: Fragments of Asperger Syndrome.  He wrote the second book because he could find nothing written about the experiences of adolescents with Asperger syndrome. He has a girlfriend and enjoys going out to pubs, going to gigs, playing the guitar, singing and listening to music. He finds that his lack of ability to empathise with other people can be difficult, and his complete focus on things, like taking photographs affect his relationship with his girlfriend. They overcome this by talking things through and being very honest with each other.
 
Luke thinks it is important to read about Asperger syndrome and to learn ways of managing daily life. It can be challenging to go out and do things, like be in a crowd, but it’s important to try and overcome this because things do get easier with practice.

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