Saturday 21 July 2018

Chris Packham’s partner tells how his Asperger’s affects their relationship

Springwatch presenter Packham was diagnosed with the condition in 2005.

Chris Packham’s partner has discussed the impact his Asperger’s syndrome has on their relationship (Shout Communications/PA)
Chris Packham’s partner has discussed the impact his Asperger’s syndrome has on their relationship (Shout Communications/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Springwatch star Chris Packham’s partner has told how his Asperger’s syndrome affects their relationship.

Packham, 57, was diagnosed with the condition – an autism spectrum disorder that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others – in 2005.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Charlotte Corney, who has dated the wildlife expert since 2007, revealed the challenges their relationship encounters.

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TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2005 (Joe Giddens/PA)

She told the newspaper: “I didn’t know he had Asperger’s when we started dating. When some of the traits started coming through I found it upsetting. I couldn’t understand why he behaved in the way he did sometimes.”

Ms Corney runs the Isle Of Wight Zoo, which is where she met Packham.

The 42-year-old added: “He’s still affectionate. If we’re sat on the sofa he’ll cuddle me – he’s not unaffectionate and I don’t feel neglected. He’s just different from other people I’ve been out with. He’s so honest. It is a good thing because it’s healthy but sometimes it can be hurtful.

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Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has been open about his Asperger’s syndrome (Ian West/PA)

“On a day-to-day basis there are difficulties but that is the same in any relationship. I can be sensitive so I guess that makes it more challenging.”

Packham has been open about his struggles with Asperger’s and revealed if a cure was available he is unsure whether he would take it.

In an interview with the Radio Times, he said: “If there were a cure for Asperger’s, I don’t know if I’d want it.

“Humanity has prospered because of people with autistic traits. Without them, we wouldn’t have put man on the moon or be running software programs.

“If we wiped out all the autistic people on the planet, I don’t know how much longer the human race would last.”

Press Association

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