Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum

Helen and Jason - Interview 12

Male

Brief outline: Helen and Jason's older son,Joshua, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was five years old. He attends the local mainstream primary school but his parents are worried about his education and would like to find specialist provision for him.

Background: Helen, a full time carer, and Jason, a garage mechanic, have two sons aged 6 and 2. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Helen and Jason have two young sons, Joshua aged 6 and Sam aged 2.  Joshua was born after Helen had had fertility treatment and he had a difficult birth.  Joshua was very quiet as a baby and his development was unusual.  For example, he didn’t learn to speak using individual words but began to speak whole sentences.  He also learnt to use the toilet very quickly. 

Joshua wasn’t interested in playing with other children and was very hyperactive with poor concentration.  He has never liked being touched and would play very orderly games on his own.  At school, Joshua was restricted to half days for a while as there was no funding for the additional support he needed. 

Initially his parents did not realise that there was a problem but it was suggested to Helen that Joshua may have Asperger syndrome. Helen did a lot of research in the library which seemed to confirm  this.  Eventually Joshua was diagnosed aged five and received his statement soon afterwards.  He now has the appropriate support in his mainstream school but his parents are worried about possible bullying when he goes into the primary school.

Helen and Jason have found it hard over the years and Helen has recurring depression. Whilst receiving the diagnosis and the statement has made some aspects of Joshua’s life easier, support or activities for very young children with Asperger syndrome are very sparse.  He attends a Saturday Club every six weeks which he enjoys. His parents find it difficult that he does not want to join in with the family.

Joshua has various fears, including loud noises.  He loves cars, the seaside and is a great mimic.  He loves documentaries on television and is particularly interested in nature programmes.  He wants to be a paramedic when he grows up; his parents think he would be better as a marine biologist because of his lack of bedside manner.

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