Vikki: It is. It is more so for the females amongst us because Nick does feel a bit intimidated so he gets banished to the kitchen to make teas and coffees.
Nick: If you can imagine a situation that you would least want to put a autistic person into where you have got a group of about fifteen people all talking across that is what it is like.
Vikki: But it is one of those cases where you can just sit down and tell your stories to an audience who have been there, seen that, done that and can offer advice or a sympathetic ear. Because you know Peter could have done something in the morning and hurt Tom or hurt me, emotionally, physically, got on the bus, gone to school, had the meeting in the evening and then you are laughing about it, where in fact at the time you are probably crying about it. You couldn’t cry because you had to go to work and then you had to deal with other problems at work and so you still haven’t dealt with it and then coming back and having these people here to listen to what you were saying and ultimately you end up laughing about it. You say, “Hold on a minute, he kicked you, my story is …” And the stories get more and more complex and you end up laughing about all of them. And it is sort of a very comfortable way of sharing information, sharing experiences.
Nick: I find it quite amusing because they basically go round [town] twice, you get to host two evenings. I will go and sit in the other room and you hear the same conversation over and over again, because people go round in circles. And find it quite amusing I really do. I have half tempted to come as a waiter because I have to manage all the teas, and come in just stark naked with just a apron on just to see if I can draw some attention away from all these women gossiping but I am forbidden from doing it [laughs].
What sort of thing do you do for support then?
Nick: Well my wife. I talk to people at work about it. Not so much in my new job. I have been in the new job six months and don’t really know people that well. I have got a good mate who I go out with drinking once a week and I chat to him. But I don’t know. I am a lot easier, I don’t think it affects me quite as much as it affects Vick. It is I don’t feel I need a huge amount of support. I am a bloke. So … it just doesn’t seem to worry me or faze me quite as much I don’t think.