Autistic Consultant & Independent Researcher, Wenn, leading by example to empower autistic individuals and promote quality co-produced research

Questions and Answers

Here are some questions and answers to help you get to know a little bit more about Dr. Wenn.

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1. When did you first realise you were different?

2. How did it affect your family relationships? For example did your parents realise you were different? In retrospect could they have done anything more to help you as a child?

3. As a child, did you find it hard to make friends with other children, or were you not really interested in that?

4. Did you have rituals/obsessions at an early age? If so how did they develop? And what benefit did you derive from them? Did new rituals/obsessions replace old ones? Do you (or did you) feel that you needed to control them?

5. What was your experience of school like? Did you have the same problems at school as you did at college in the UK?

6. What about sensitivities to sound/touch/light etc. are these are problem? If so, can you explain how/why this is and whether they have improved as you have gotten older?

7. Are you able to empathise and understand other people's emotions? Can you tell someone's state of mind by looking at their face?

8. How did you learn to compensate for being different? Did you have to learn social skills by trial and error? If so how? And do you find that these social skills become easier with practice.

9. What situations do you find the most difficult to deal with? Do you find it difficult talking to strangers who try to start up a conversation with you? Are you happy to talk about the difficulties that autism gives you?

10. What's the most important advice you would give to a parent whose child has just been diagnosed with autism?

11. What is your favourite thing about being autistic?

12. What are your main areas of interest when it comes to autism research?

13. What are some areas that researchers and service providers should pay more attention to?

14. How does autism relate to your identity?

15. What are some of the things that have helped you to become well-educated and independent?

16. What helps you to relax?

17. What kind of music do you like?

18. If people could learn one thing from one of your talks or training sessions what would you most like them to take away or approach differently?

19. In your opinion how has society become more accepting and understanding of autistic people since you were first diagnosed in 1994?

20. What are some of the differences between societies understanding of autism and the services provided between Australia, the UK and other countries you visit?

21. What do you most enjoy about sharing your experiences and knowledge about autism with others?

Questions 1-10 compiled by John Muggleton (1998) and 11-21 by Tori Haar (2017). Answers given or updated by Dr. Wenn in August 2017.