Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum

Liz - Interview 2

Female
Age at interview: 45

Brief outline: Liz's son, Jonas, aged 11, has been diagnosed with epilepsy, ADHD and Asperger syndrome and Raphe, the youngest son, has Downs Syndrome. Jonas attends the local mainstream primary school but Liz is worried about the move to secondary school.

Background: Liz, 45, lives with her husband, a chicken farmer, and two of her three sons. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

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Liz and her husband have two sons, Jonas, 11 and Raphe, 8 and live on a chicken farm.  Liz has an adult son from a previous marriage.   Jonas started having fits from the age of one but epilepsy was not diagnosed for six years when Liz sought a diagnosis abroad.  After the EEG showed an epileptic focal point, Liz could access services in the UK.  Once the epilepsy was under control by medication (a year after the original diagnosis), Jonas was also diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger syndrome. 

Jonas is in mainstream primary school but Liz is worried about his progress once he starts at secondary school, because its size and the number of different lessons will be hard for Jonas to cope with.  He is particularly good at maths and trampolining but finds other subjects difficult.  He particularly enjoys a strategic computer game and Liz feels that this has helped his writing skills and has encouraged him to interact with other game players. 

Though Jonas attends a social communications skills class at school, she finds that this does not translate outside the class and he can be difficult at home.  He is very sensitive to smells, tastes and textures which can affect what he will eat and things like cleaning his teeth. 

Jonas can be controlling of what the family do and she is keen to maintain a social life for the family despite his actions.  Having a network of friends who share similar experiences is very supportive and it also helps to talk about her experiences. 

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