Duncan - Interview 51
More about me...
Duncan, 17 was diagnosed with dyspraxia when he was eight years old. He describes being very quiet at primary school and was paranoid about speaking up in class in case he asked a silly or inappropriate question. He felt different to other children because he wasn’t interested in the same activities like riding BMX bikes or skateboarding. He enjoyed playing computer games or War Hammer; more structured activities with clear objectives. Duncan’s parents thought that there were still some unanswered questions and five years later he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Once he had the second diagnosis, appropriate support was provided at school, including a note taker, speech and language therapy and someone to talk through issues surrounding social situations and schoolwork. Duncan settled much better in a private secondary school which had smaller classes.
Duncan describes feeling happy to get the diagnosis because it explained how he was different and enabled him and his family to put strategies in place to make life easier. While he didn’t give up trying to fit in, he describes not trying as hard and gradually it became easier to be more outgoing and interact with people. He found what he describes as social suicide situations easier to manage and has learnt to make conversations which have become spontaneous over time.
Duncan does not like change and has sensory issues like a sensitivity to noise and interest in shiny things. He finds that these issues can be distracting. He has got a great sense of humour and tries to focus on positive things. Duncan is currently in the sixth form and hopes to go to university.
Duncan felt pleased to get the diagnosis because 'it put a lot of things into place and answered...
Duncan often didn't realise when people were talking to him.
Duncan describes 'social suicide situations' where he says something that makes him feel stupid.
Duncan preferred to be on his own when he was younger and always preferred structured games like...
Duncan enjoys War Hammer and computer games and likes the structure and process.
Duncan says there are weird sensory things he doesn't like but he really likes shiny things.
Duncan prefers a night in, wearing a baggy tee shirt and jogging bottoms, to going out.
Duncan found the transition between schools and changing timetables difficult.
Change. I don’t particularly like, well especially if it is sudden. I mean if I mean I didn’t like changing schools in the beginning but I sort of gradually got used to it, as the summer holiday went on sort of, I thought I sort of mulled it over in my mind, and then sort of thought, oh I guess this good idea. I don’t know. I find it easier to change gradually rather than rapidly, so you know, sort of changing school schedules between school years sort of, rather than one week being different from the next or one day being different from the next. I find it easier to maybe over a period of six weeks, you know, like a school term, and then, and then may be change it after a term, and then again, more, you know, have the same sort of structure for the whole school year and then change it the next year. I guess changes are sometimes okay.
Duncan who went to a mainstream school explains how they supported him.
What sort of support did they give you at this school that helped?