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January 2011



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By Victoria Allen

A YOUNG Scot with Asperger’s syndrome has finally found love… with the first girl he’s ever been able to look in the eye.

Craig Thomson, 25, has a severe form of the condition, which means he struggles with social skills.

He has always been afraid of eye contact, even with his mum and dad, but things were different when he met partner Gemma Shaw.

Craig said: “It’s not natural for me to look someone in the eye. It’s like letting someone hear my thoughts.

“But with Gemma, it doesn’t matter. We’re so close and I’m so comfortable that it’s not scary any more.

“I never thought I would be that close to anyone.”

Craig, of Strathaven, Lanarkshire, is often trapped in his own world because of his condition.

He is happiest when things are planned and becomes anxious around unpredictable people.

Craig can’t figure people out using facial expressions or social cues. He can’t express his feelings and he hates to be touched.

When he’s anxious, he often comforts himself by repeating actions. He has seen the film Terminator 2 more than 500 times.

But despite his problems, Craig was determined to find love.

And when he joined an online dating site, he was honest about his condition.

He wrote in his profile: “I have social problems, I don’t like eye contact and can’t recognise facial expressions.

“I have temper tantrums and obsessive compulsions, like turning lights on and off eight times before bed.”

Many women would have been put off, but Gemma, 23, liked Craig’s honesty.

She replied, they met a few weeks later and they were living together within six months.

Craig said: “I felt very comfortable with Gemma. When I gave her a kiss, it felt right.

“The biggest myth about people with my condition is that we’re not capable of love. We are – we just express it differently.”

Gemma said: “I’ve never thought of Craig as autistic – I just think of him as Craig.

“The first time he looked me in the eye, it was almost impossible for him. It means we’re meant to be together.”

Source:  http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2010/10/28/man-with-asperger-s-syndrome-finds-love-with-first-girl-he-was-able-to-look-in-the-eye-86908-22664220/

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