Life on the Autism spectrum

Russell - Interview 07b

Male
Age at interview: 21
Age at diagnosis: 12

Brief outline: Russell was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 12 years old. His awareness of potential difficulties is increasing as he grows older and more aware. Russell describes himself as being prone to outbursts and is taking anti-depressants.

Background: He has a degree in accountancy and is looking to get an apprenticeship in business administration. Ethnic background/nationality: White/British

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Russell was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome aged 12 after he met a child psychologist in a waiting room for a diabetes appointment. He feels that in some ways being diagnosed as a child meant that he didn’t have to try to do certain things, and it also meant that some people could understand him better.
 
Russell describes how difficult he has found it to fit in with his peer group. The interests that they have around football and music, do not interest him and people tend not to be interested in the things that he is, e.g. abstract maths. Sensory issues like bright lighting or noises can be distracting for Russell and he describes how he worries about things that are outside of his control and there is always the potential for spontaneous incidents when he goes out. His awareness of potential difficulties is increasing as he grows older and more aware. These worries can be reduced by staying at home and playing video games. He also has a system for checking that everything has been locked and is secure when he goes out of the house.
 
Russell has joined a support group that has social events regularly. While he doesn’t always enjoy the events, Russell describes the balancing act he does between wanting to cut himself off from the rest of the world while still maintaining some friendships. Since getting his degree in accountancy, Russell has had a temporary contract and is hoping to get an apprenticeship in business administration. He feels he is at a disadvantage in trying to get a job because of the focus of interviews on one to one interaction. 
 
Russell describes himself as being prone to outbursts and is taking anti-depressants. He lives with his parents after spending a year house sharing which didn’t go well. Russell would like support to help him live independently. He would also like to have a relationship but says that meeting a woman with AS is unlikely. 
 

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