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Guy's Garage: Guy Martin says his vehicle is "prone to wheelying"

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It was after a dramatic crash at the 2012 Isle of Man TT that left Guy hospitalised in a critical condition that the Channel 4 star reconsidered his future in the dangerous sport. And this wasn’t the last time the star was going to wake up badly injured, five years later after the Ulster Grand Prix he ended up with a broken back, ribs and hand. Two years later in 2017, Guy retired from motorcycle racing. In addition to his multiple physical injuries, Guy found out he had Asperger’s syndrome a few years back.

At first, Guy seemed uninterested at his diagnosis, stating “what a load of tripe, buy clavamox without a prescription ” but since the British daredevil has admitted that having the syndrome does explain why he is the way he is.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Guy said: “It’s true I’ve been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, but I would say: ‘What a load of tripe’.

“They try to put names to it — ‘Oh, he’s like that because of this’. Everyone’s different. We’re all different.

“The way I look at it is that maybe having that is why I am the way I am. Maybe that is all down to the autistic side. I don’t know.”

Asperger’s syndrome was previously used as part of the autistic spectrum and is characterised as individuals who have difficulty with social interactions, restricted interests and desire for sameness.

Autism Speaks, a charity supporting those with autism, explains that individuals with Asperger’s can sometimes face the following challenges:

  • Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.)
  • Difficulty with the give and take of conversation
  • Difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.)
  • Uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness
  • Anxiety and depression.

At the time of his diagnosis, Guy was encouraged by his girlfriend at the time to seek medical help.

“My girlfriend at the time persuaded me to see someone,” he explained.

“I was turning her crackers, so she forced me — well, not forced me, but she said: ‘Will we go and see this psychologist?’

“Anyway, I sat there for a day, and it turned out it was a form of autism: Asperger’s.”

In the same way that Asperger’s brings with it some challenges, individuals also have a variety of strengths, most of all they are able to bring focus and persistence on a subject with remarkable attention to detail skills.

This is something that Guy has noticed in himself, and credits it for his success. He continued to say: “If there are any benefits to having it, it’s that you just get your head down and get on with things. I apply that to the way I work.

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A post shared by Guy Martin (@guymartinofficial)

“If you’ve got an awkward job at work, you just get your head down until it’s sorted.

“It’s probably what helps me with endurance racing on my mountain bike.

“I’m not quick but I’m good at getting my head down.”

Sometimes Asperger’s can be confused with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) due to the similarities in symptoms and signs.

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A post shared by Guy Martin (@guymartinofficial)

However, an assessment of an individual’s social and communication skills in particular will help to provide a correct diagnosis.

If you or someone you know would like to have an assessment, they can be arranged through your GP, a health visitor or a special educational needs member of staff at a child’s school.

Although Asperger’s in no way stops individuals from living a full life, those who feel like they may need help managing Asperger’s can attend a number of therapy classes. This mainly includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), social skills training classes, speech therapy and physical and occupational therapy.

These therapies can help individuals with aspects of their lives such as conversational skills, understanding social cues, voice control and coordination.

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