Apologies for being rather quiet of late. Work and training for work have taken a lot of out me, and then, there was Christmas. Then, there was New Year which came in with m bugs and viruses and other unpleasantness to compensate for having had a wonderful festive period.
So I thought that I would talk about employment and how it affects people with autism. The National Autistic Society estimates that only 16% of autistic adults are employed on a full time basis. This is a hideous figure.
Sure the Autism Act allows for protection but it’s simply not enough. Also, as with any hidden disability, should we be forced to disclose this information at the point of application or interview?
Of course, without giving the information to an employer, you cannot seek to rely upon the protection of the Act, or any other anti-discrimination legislation. So, my advice, as someone with a legal background, inform people, it allows them to protect themselves and them to protect you. It doesn’t ease the chronic insecurity.
Anyway, routine and how mine has been forced to change:-
I, like most people on the spectrum like routine; indeed, I seek to establish one. However, the new job throws this a little into a state of flux.
Personally I am working as a member of support staff, supporting a person on the spectrum whose needs require a lot more support and assistance than my own. It’s a challenging and interesting role, with very long shifts, short weeks and as such I am still in the process of creating a routine.
However, I am happy to be back in full time employment, which means that plans for the short and mid-term can start and the plan is also to have some spare resources to allow travel to races this year.
So, when my working life is shift-based and my tasks dependent upon the person-centred approach of supporting another adult?
Well, for me, I plan a working day as best as J can, I determine activities and set a rough timeframe for those. The client makes the choices from there.
If and when I struggle with my own order, I will simply have to ask for help from my colleagues, partner or my employer.