Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum

Ciaran - Interview 26

Male
Age at interview: 53

Brief outline: Ciaran's son was diagnosed with autism eight years ago and also has epilepsy and dyspraxia. He is currently doing a course at a college of further education but Ciaran worries about what he will do next.

Background: Ciaran, a development manager, and his wife have a son aged 21 and daughter aged 18. Ethnic background/nationality: White Irish.

Audio & video

Ciaran and his wife have two children; a son aged 21 and daughter aged 18.  Their son's autism was diagnosed at the age of 13 after the couple had many years of taking him for tests and feeling they were inadequate or overly anxious parents.  Neither Ciaran nor his wife knew about autism then and set about learning about it.  They wanted to get their son into an autism specific school and succeeded after going through an educational tribunal. 

Their son stayed at the school until he was 19 and is now in a special college for young people with autism and learning difficulties.  Ciaran is worried about what will happen after college in a year or so because he will not be ready for employment then.

Ciaran feels strongly that autism should be recognised as a stand alone condition with specialist services put in place.  He set up a support group with his wife to help other parents get through the barriers they may face.  Ciaran is now the full time Development Manager for the support group.

Their son, who also has epilepsy and dyspraxia, is obsessed with football.  He doesn’t like having to make a decision and is happy in his own company.

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