Updated: Jan 6, 2020
My name is Oliver Fenghour and I have Asperger's Syndrome which is a form of high functioning autism. In this blog I am going to talk about my interests and obsessions from childhood through to my current interests and how these can be an asset to employers.
As a child growing up I had a variety of what the National Autistic Society terms 'intense interests. For example, I used to love playing war games with my toys. I would often put my toys together in a massive group and move them all at once to some fictional land that I had envisaged. My parents were often perplexed at my repetitive play which focused on my intense interests. My dad introduced me to Formula 1 when I was six years old and I still have a fixated interest in it to this day. My early heroes were Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. I remember vividly Ayrton Senna dying. Although, I was to young to comprehend why he had died I just remember bawling my eyes out that one of my childhood heroes was no longer with us.
My late granddad who I will forever be indebted to for many of my interests, used to take me trainspotting for many years. I developed at a young age an intense fascination with trains. I had several train sets which I still have to this day. Even the other day while I was waiting around for a connecting train I ended up watching high speed Virgin trains and it reminded of my passionate interests and the incredible influence my granddad had on my life. My granddad also created model war sets for me from both the Napoleonic and British civil war eras and we would spend hours playing strategic war games. I am pleased to say that more often than not I would win!
As I went into my adolescent years I was intensely fascinated with the origins of the second world war. For years I would read any book or watch any film related to the second world war that I could. I found that it was a part of history that fascinated me with all the battles and horrors of a war that should never have happened. My granddad fighting in this war and his stories were the major reason why for so many years, even now I am still intensely interested in the second world war. The detriment of having such fixated interests were that very few of my peers shared my interests and I was often isolated in my teenage years as my interests were substantially different to them.
Over the last few years my interests have been predominantly law and politics which I am both incredibly passionate about. I particularly want to see the implementation of an autism act into statute so that autistic people are given the opportunities that so many of their neuro-typical peers have had. I am passionate about law as I enjoy the problem-solving side of the law and I want to help guide and advise businesses on issues such as GDPR and data anonymization in the new digital world. I pride myself on having such fixated interests as I believe that it is a strength of Asperger's Syndrome and a valuable commodity that most businesses need from myself and many other autistic people on the spectrum.
However, sadly I am one of many autistic people that are not in employment as businesses seem to lack the understanding of what Asperger's Syndrome is, without realising the vast potential that many people like myself on the autistic spectrum have to offer.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and I look forward to hearing from you.