Case Study: John
I was first introduced to Autism, (or more correctly, Asperger’s syndrome as it was referred to in 2009 and a name I still much prefer) at the age of 59 whilst I spent many, many hours on the internet investigating why I didn’t seem to ‘fit’, why I didn’t have any friends & why I felt permanently depressed.
Over several months, during my investigations I created a PowerPoint slide set to capture the various issues I experienced & how they made me feel, from my childhood to the present time. As I was 59 at the time, there were many, many slides covering diverse areas of my childhood, working and family life!
Having suspected that I might be on the Autism spectrum, I asked my GP for a referral to see a specialist psychologist to get a professional assessment. The result was yup, I’m an Aspie and that’s that!
Once I began to understand how this diagnosis felt, I made it my business to find out what help I could get. A superb NHFT Occupational Therapist spent an hour or so with me each week for around 12 weeks, helping me understand how I related to & could rub along with all the non-Aspie’s around me. Along the way she kindly introduced me to a National Autistic Society Training Manager and the Northamptonshire HealthCare (NHS) Foundation Trust Lead Practitioner Autism Practice and Assurance with the intention of me contributing to Autism training sessions. I’m now proud to say that I continue to work with both the NAS and NHFT providing staff, service users, carers, relatives and others, training on what it’s like to be Autistic. I, and from feedback received from the majority of attendees really enjoy each training session; typical feedback goes along the lines of “it was helpful hearing from someone on the spectrum about his life and social difficulties”
On a personal level, it remains starkly clear to me that having a formal diagnosis changes nothing! I can now understand a bit of the ‘why’ I feel so isolated and sad but never-the-less I still feel that way. What I can do now however, is try to accept the fact that my brain is wired differently from the majority of people and try to use it to express myself as best I can and to try to work at a practical level with folks who clearly see and experience a different world altogether when they wake up every morning. So, in conclusion I, like everyone else remain a “work-in-progress” You never know, I might have it all nailed down by the time I reach my 140th birthday.
Over the past year or so, I feel very uplifted by the actions of many NHFT and partner colleagues who are clearly as passionate as I am about working hard to try to improve the lives of Autistic folks around the county. Within my current role on the Northamptonshire Autism Strategy Steering Group I’ve met some wonderful people doing excellent work and I’m proud to be part of it.
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Disclaimer: En-Fold does not endorse treatments, interventions and therapies but lists them so people can make informed choice. This site is for information purposes only and is a starting point for readers to look into options that may fit or resonate. Remember, therapies for autism, like any condition, should be discussed with a trusted medical practitioner or certified therapist before use. All information, data and material contained, presented or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of En-Fold, or as providing legal or medical advice. All treatment decisions should be made by the individual in consultation with a health care provider. Case studies provided are done so in good faith, and based on the personal experience of the individual submitting them. En-Fold are in no way endorsing the establishments that are mentioned but offering peer reviews to inform readers.