- Age at interview:
- Age at diagnosis:
- Richard, a computer programmer and Sue, a healthcare worker, have been married for over 30 years and have a large family. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.
Sue' We approached the GP first or I did. And the GP was a bit reluctant about the whole thing.
Richard' I remember we went to see him together. Had you seen him first?
Sue' Yes, I went first I think.
Richard' I remember that when we went together, that must have been the second time the subject was brought up, that I actually had to spell Asperger for him, so I knew that was a bad start. I knew we weren’t going to get anywhere.
Sue' He did eventually refer us to a see a psychiatrist for an assessment of Richard to see the psychiatrist but it was something like a six month waiting list and then when that eventually happened that consultation it was something like 45 minutes with this psychiatrist who basically just took a very skimpy sort of history.
Richard' Well basically he took the history of my depression. True I was depressed, but that wasn’t the point. I mean I was suffering from depression and I was getting antidepressants from the GP. That wasn’t what I wanted to see him about. But he took nearly all the time taking the history of my depression and then said he could see me for a second appointment in another three months.
Sue' So I mean at that point we felt that we weren’t going to get very far…
Richard' We weren’t going to get very far.
Sue' … through the system. So we did some research, Richard did some research …
Richard' Yes. I found there are a number of good resources. Barb Kirby’s site is fairly central, Oasis and one of the links on there was to the Class Clinic in Cambridge, Dr Baron Cohen, a professor really …
Sue' Whatever he is now.
Richard' And I applied to him, and, you know, he said, yes it was quite possible for him to consider me for a diagnosis. Our GP wasn’t very keen….
Sue' Well he wasn’t keen until we pointed that that he could actually make an out of area referral to Cambridge and it wouldn’t actually cost him anything.
Richard' Because it’s….
Sue' Because it’s actually a charity, it is funded by a charity that particular clinic.
Richard' That improved his opinion. Although the GP had said, he had said to me, “Why do you need a diagnosis? There is no treatment.” But I mean I just backed my wife’s view on the diagnosis and for me, I also thought that I would rather be an Asperger than be wrong, weird, with no known cause. So that got us onto the system. They sent us some questionnaires, fairly lengthy questionnaires. We did those. They wanted to interview my parents, but it was far too late for that. They wanted to interview somebody who knew me as a child and with a lot of effort the best we could come up with was my younger sister. Obviously she is younger, but she had known me through part of her childhood.
Sue' And she had heard stories about you when you were a smaller child anyway.
Richard' And that was the best we could manage. So they had quite a long telephone interview with her. And then we went to Cambridge and it was a couple of hours or more wasn’t it?