Life on the Autism spectrum

Peter and Myrtle - Interview 03

Male
Age at interview: 83
Age at diagnosis: 80

Brief outline: Despite some difficult times, Myrtle describes being incredibly fond of her husband and, when she was in ill health for a number of years, Peter looked after her like 'an angel'. Peter was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 80. He is having counseling which is helping him to become more aware of the extremes of his behaviour and to control his temper.

Background: Peter, a retired scientist and Myrtle, a retired actress, have been married for 57 years and have one son aged 53. Ethnic background/nationality: White British

Audio & video

Peter and his wife, Myrtle, have been married for 57 years and have one son. Three years ago Peter was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome after he read a book which described his lack of empathy and lack of engagement with his surroundings. Peter has been counselled for the past three years, and has become more aware of the extremes of his behaviour, such as intolerance, and to control his temper.
 
Peter has always focused on things that interest him and is, by nature, a loner. He has had an obsession with time since childhood and is often very rude to people without thinking about it. He enjoyed a fascinating childhood in Vienna from which developed a lifelong love of music and the arts. His career as a scientist has been very successful.
 
Myrtle, a former actress, describes having made significant compromises in her life to adapt to Peter’s ways; she often felt lonely during their marriage. Retirement has been particularly difficult and both Peter and Myrtle have suffered from stress and depression.  
 

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