Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum

Nick and Vikki - Interview 34

Male
Age at interview: 40

Brief outline: Nick and Vikki's younger son, Peter, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was five years old. He attends a specialist resourced provision attached to a mainstream primary school which he enjoys.

Background: Nick, a design engineer, and Vikki, a teacher, have two sons aged 10 and 8. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

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Nick, a design engineer, and Vikki, a teacher, have two sons, Tom aged 10 and Peter aged 8.  Originally Nick and Vikki thought that Peter was a gifted child because his language appeared to be advanced for his age.  He went to nursery where his parents assumed he was getting on well for the first year.  At the end of that year, they were told by the staff that there was something “wrong” with him and Peter was referred to a child development centre for assessment.  Within six months he was given a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome at the age of 5.  While the process of diagnosis was relatively fast, they would have liked to have had a “mop up facility” a few weeks after receiving the diagnosis where they could have discussed their concerns in more depth rather than being, as they describe, “cast adrift”.

Peter is now in a specialist resourced provision (SPR) attached to a junior school and is statemented.  Now he is getting the appropriate support, he is progressing well with school work.  Peter is a loving boy who is funny and good at writing puns. He loves trampolining, watching DVD’s and recreating the storylines within imaginary worlds.   He can be literal and will interpret not being able to do certain things as a personal attack. 

His parents have attended anger management classes where they learnt that it was sensible to only fight the important battles.  They are finding it a bit easier to anticipate any potentially difficult situations and have found the best strategy if Peter starts to lose his temper is to remove him from the situation.  They find going out can be difficult and will often split up in order to accommodate the needs of their two sons.  It is also hard to find babysitters now the boys are older and no longer go to bed early.  Vikki would like to see more support for siblings and draws support herself from a local support group.

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