A FORMER Halton College lecturer who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 79 has set up a support group for people with the condition and is writing a book about his experiences.

Mike Hewitt only discovered that he had Asperger’s in 2014 after meeting a retired doctor who believed he may have symptoms.

With tests later confirming that Mike has Asperger’s, he is now setting up a group to allow people with the condition to socialise.

The 82-year-old said: “There are statistically 2,000 people in this area with Aspergers - 80 or 90 per cent of them might not know that they’ve got it.

“I went through 79 years of my life and nobody knew what my problem was - I suspected it but I didn’t know what it was.

“All my life I’ve made other excuses why people don’t like you or you don’t have any friends - I now realise why.

“It’s not easy to make friends if you don’t learn to empathise and one of the aspects is that you don’t empathise.”

Mike worked as a lecturer with disabled students at Halton College in the 1980s and showed them how to use computers.

He also taught in HMP Risley and served in the army alongside Lord Lucan.

Mike, from Burtonwood, is writing a book about his experiences with the condition and gives talks around Cheshire on the subject of autism.

Mike added: “There are a lot of groups for children but none for adults.

“There are lots of people with Asperger’s but they don’t have a social life, as part of being Asperger’s is that you don’t particularly enjoy being with people.

“The group is for people like me who won’t have friends, as these people all have the same problem.

“Most Asperger’s people have been bullied all of their life - they’re afraid of dealing people and they don’t know what to do.

“In the future we will maybe arrange to go out to a restaurant on a Saturday night together and meet each other socially.”

For more information on the group visit aspiesforwarrington.org.uk.