parents/ family with a lack of understanding

I am looking for a bit of advice really. My predicament revolves around being autistic and having a job. Around 9 months ago, I lost my job as a civil servant with the DWP. They unfairly dismissed me because I did have reasonable adjustments but they kept taking them off me etc. which lead to my mental health declining and I began underperforming – this to me meant maybe a call centre environment was the wrong place for me to work as I dont do too well with telephones.

I've been in and out of jobs for the last 9 months, my most recent one ended because they just didn't care about me and took advantage of me. The part I am really struggling with is the pressure from my family to get another job to where they keep suggesting I go for jobs in call centres because they hire in large volumes and I will more than likely get it because I am articulate and intelligent thanks to my aspergers.

I try to tell them that these are jobs I will likely fail or get fired from because I don't operate the way they would want a typical call centre worker to operate, my family sometimes seems to be of the belief that Autism and aspergers isn't necessarily a disability and that through confronting the issues we face we can just get over them. in addition to this my mum is of the opinion that I'm only autistic because of the things I have been through in my life because I was only diagnosed two years ago where as I know I was born autistic.  I understand they just want me to have a job and live independently with my partner like I did this time last year but I cannot work in a call centre!

Im trying to keep everyone happy which is what I always seem to do so I don't disappoint anyone but from past experience this puts me in a tricky position! Its not me being closed minded in terms of working, I want to, but I also want to be comfortable and able to work somewhere to start with!

I'm just not sure how to help them understand without disappointing them or making them think I'm trying to make excuses to not do things etc. does anyone have any advice?

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  • If it helps Lee, I have just signed up for Universal Credit and they are so helpful with me, in fact, they've asked me to speak to politicians on the 1st December about how they are helping people like me with autism.  I've only been twice but they have told me they even have a special disability department and that they aren't going to try and force me into just any old job and that in fact they will work with me to identify my strengths and what type of work will be most suitable to me. I am in the slow process of setting up my own business but in the meantime, I would like to do some part time work so although I'm a qualified and experienced social worker and mental health practitioner, I'm going to take them up on their offer to find work that is most suitable to me, because I do need help, other wise I will just go for what I know I can already do, even if it doesn't suit me. I could go back to social work, earn and save a good amount of money but be back exhausted again in 6 months and I've been in this burnout now since 2011 and I extend it by taking work that isn't suitable to me. I don't know at this stage what kind of work will be best for me but I am learning how much time I need to myself to cope with life in general so I want to make sure the work will energise me and not drain me because no work is worth that, no matter how much they pay. I'm busy creating a life and lifestyle that supports me and I'm not willing to compromise that and the Universal Credit people have assured me that they're not going to compromise that either. I'm lucky that my work coach worked with autistic people for 7 years so she has a good understanding of autism. But either way, you've got rights and it's your right to have employment that suits you. Like Liri said, it will be helpful if you can find someone to talk to about this and get some support as we can be a bit blinded by our anxieties and rigid thinking. I'm really grateful for the help I'm getting and I've come on leaps and bounds with their support. When I was on ESA I never saw anybody so I wasn't getting any help but now I am.

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