I finally received my draft diagnostic report last night. I had intended to share part of it with my employer, but having read it I do not feel comfortable about this. There is relatively little in the report relating to employment and it is so deficit focused that I am concerned about the impact it would have.
I've been given an opportunity to correct inaccuracies before the report is finalised and I'm considering whether to ask for more significant amendments:
I would be happy to draft the additional material myself and ask for it to be added to the report. Perhaps this would be seen as inappropriate though?
Just wondering how you felt when you received your diagnostic report - were autistic strengths highlighted as well as deficits? If you were working did you share all or part of the report with your employer?
I've been waiting a very long time to receive the diagnostic report so I was a bit surprised by its brevity and lack of specificity. I have not seen any other reports so maybe mine is typical. It is a rough draft (typos, missing words) which Is difficult for me too. I would be upset if the final version included mistakes but if I correct the grammar and spelling I might cause offence.
I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer. I expected to have some negative feelings about my report given the assessment process is based on the medical model. However, I thought it would contain more information relating to employment as this was the main problem when I referred myself - we also spent much of my assessment discussing it.
My report was ok. It didn't necessarily talk about strengths and weaknesses so much but more that I have a different way of thinking, processing and communicating. There were some mentions of difficulties and some areas of strengths mentioned. But it didn't come across as overly negative in my eyes.
I haven't disclosed to my employer yet but I've thought about it. I wouldn't show them my full report, it is too personal. I would give them the letter that states my diagnosis and probably write the key points from my report that I think impact at work.
It is worth asking whether they could do something specifically relating to employment though. The worst they can say is no.
Thank you for this. The report has lots of sensitive personal information - showed it to my brother and he strongly advised me not to share it at work. I thought it would actually state whether the assessment was done using DSM or ICD - no mention of that. My brother said it sounded ambiguous because it says I meet the criteria for diagnosis but does not actually say I have been diagnosed.
To be honest I am feeling rather despondent about getting adjustments made at work. I have been in this situation twice before with hearing loss and it was a horrible experience. It's not so bad when you don't get support because your employer does not understand what you need. Once they know your requirements it's really hard if they refuse to accommodate you.
That's weird it isn't clear. My report has a conclusion stating I was diagnosed with ASD using DSM and ICD due to difficulties in social communication, social interaction, flexibility of thought and unusual sensory experience. The report is in sections and goes into detail about all of the above and then has sections on other features (like sleep problems), special skill, family history and early development. After the conclusion there are sections about recommendations which suggests their post diagnostic support group as well as books, videos and websites that are useful. There is a section about reasonable adjustments but it just states what reasonable adjustmens are rather than suggestions for myself. We only briefly discussed work and I said that generally it is okay. There are only occasional misunderstandings and confrontations so we didn't discuss this in great detail. I don't know whether this section would have been different if I had said work was a problem.
I personally don't feel I need adjustments as such, just understanding when it does go wrong, which I do think most of the time I get. What reasonable adjustments do you think you would need?
I think it's awful there are so many people on here who talk of employers refusing to accommodate them when it is a legal requirement
Thank you for this. I am sure I have been diagnosed - the feedback meeting was unambiguous and the letter I was given is for the purpose of confirming my diagnosis. My brother has not seen the letter, just the report.
As I am not gong to share the report I think I will stop agonising over it. This is probably all part of me coming to terms with being autistic. The best diagnostic report I have seen was written from an autistic strengths perspective - trying to find it again, but failing to... think it's somewhere on Twitter!
My main difficulties at work have been changes to timetables and office accommodation, resulting in increased workload, limited access to information, and nowhere quiet to retreat to at break times. There was huge uncertainty over the changes being introduced and the impact they would have.
I have also had problems with colleagues - a visiting tutor regularly lets her sessions overrun. This means I can't use the loo, make a drink or take a break. Tried to resolve the situation myself and failed. Asked my manager for help but she sided with the tutor. Gave up.
A job coach to act as a buffer between me and my manager would be helpful. Also training on ASD for immediate colleagues might help to reduce negative reactions and conflict.
This manager is angry with me most of the time. I am off sick with work-related stress and dreading going back. It started when I applied for another job. I have also reported security breaches and risk factors, and insisted on health and safety procedures being followed which has made things far, far worse for me.
My colleagues complain about this manager behind her back - two of them got the Union involved when she tried to force unacceptable changes on them. To her face they are fawning and sycophantic. I simply don't understand how they do this. One of them came into work saying she was very ill and felt dreadful. When he manager phoned she said she felt on top of the world. I am constantly confused.
One of my colleagues spends all day emailing her husband, arranging mortgages, booking holidays and having inappropriate conversations about service users. This is all perfectly ok with the manager. My desire to focus on work-related tasks and keep my private life to myself is not!
My manager keeps trying to share personal photos with me - awkward because I am not really interested and I feel uncomfortable pretending. She also wants to talk at length about her relationship problems. This seems inappropriate to me. I get upset when she talks disrespectfully about colleagues and calls them things like 'worry wart'.
Only meant to leave a short reply - as you can see this situation is causing me lots of angst. Not sure what can be done to make it possible for me to return to work. The most difficult thing of all is that my manager refused to make adjustments for my existing disabilities (Dupuytren Disease and Hearing Loss). Just before I went sick she tried to bully me into agreeing to take minutes at lunchtime meetings when I find this extremely difficult and it makes my hand cramp. She also stated categorically, prior to my diagnosis, that I cannot possibly be autistic.
One of the adjustments I need is not to have to miss my lunch break due to team meetings. I work from 8am to 6.30pm and I need a proper break. I tried to explain the impact this has on me before but got a hostile response. My manager said lunchtime is the only time everyone else is free. I asked if I could take an early break before the team meeting starts but this was vetoed too.
The Union want me to submit a grievance but I don't feel I have the energy to do this currently. I think I might have to ultimately as without a formal complaint nothing is being done to resolve matters.
My expectation is that if I do complain I will probably end up having to leave. I am not sure that my manager would be open to mediation - funny isn't it as we are supposed to be the ones who lack insight and are inflexible!
I feel a lot better for having written this down. I am getting no response from my Union rep as she is too busy working on other cases and attending meetings. I am feeling increasingly frustrated and isolated. I emailed and phoned for urgent advice the yesterday but no one got back to me. I am going to try again now.
Thanks again for your reply and for prompting me to write all this down. I should keep a journal as I am sure this would help to calm my mind.
I am very lucky in the fact I work in a school for children with autism so all our staff are autism trained. Generally they do seem to be understanding of me although I've never actually disclosed, I think they know anyway. There can be the odd issue where something unexpected happens but this isn't regular. I would struggle in a job that isn't timetables and structured like mine.
Rant away. I always find rants helpful. Your situation sounds very difficult. I'm going to be very honest. I think reasonable adjustments can only go so far. If you have a manager that isn't understanding or a job that doesn't suit your needs then it will be frustrating for you.
It is clear. The criteria for diagnosis is the definition of what is required in order to be diagnosed. They say that you meet all the criteria for a diagnosis. Hence, by definition, you have been diagnosed. (Maybe it's a maths/computer science/logic thing!)
As I understand it, the employer is obliged to make reasonable adjustments. So it all hinges on what adjustments are considered reasonable or otherwise. What is reasonable depends on the employer's situation and other things, like what they think is required for the job role etc.
The only way to determine what is considered reasonable in any particular situation is for that question to be put to the appropriate court of law. Basically the court process will make an adjudication on what is reasonable, or not, and will issue an opinion where they explain their thinking for this particular case.
Since we have a common law system, as courts make various adjudications, then a body of decisions ("case law") builds up, and if you have a similar issue to an already decided case, then you can get an idea of whether what you are asking for is reasonable or not, based on other similar judgements. But you don't know for sure if that's the case or not, because if your case was taken to court, it may be that the decision in your case was different for whatever reasons the court decides.
Taking cases to court and getting judgement costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. People therefore develop "best practices/recommendations/advice" etc. that people can use as a way of trying to codify/decide what may or may not be reasonable. Those things however have no legal standing, although compliance with well regarding versions of those may be used as evidence of due diligence, trying to be proactive etc. etc.
Windscale said:The only way to determine what is considered reasonable in any particular situation is for that question to be put to the appropriate court of law.
The 'court' in this case is an Employment Tribunal. A 'reasonable adjustment' is not what you consider to be reasonable, or what your employer considers to be reasonable, but what the Tribunal considers to be reasonable. And it takes a long time (about eighteen months) before all the stages are gone through. I can almost guarantee that the case would be settled 'out of court' before then in either a settlement agreement or a COT3 agreement.
Windscale said:Taking cases to court and getting judgement costs a lot of money
Taking a case to an employment tribunal will cost your employer a lot because of the lawyers they use. Which is why they will want to settle beforehand.
Legal representation is not needed if you are bringing a case, although your Union may provide legal representation if they think the case stands a chance of being won, or you could go for a no-win, no fee solicitor. Without representation the judge treats you very fairly and there are adjustments the tribunal will make for your autism, including frequent breaks and restricting the hours it takes per day.
Do not take this to mean I am advocating taking an employer to a tribunal except as a very last resort. It can be very stressful and the best solution is always one in which both parties can come to a consensus, respecting the law of the land (in this case Employment Law and codes of practice).
@trainspotter thanks for the clarifications I had a feeling this might be in your area of knowledge. I have an idea of the general process from work I've done in the past but not the specifics for employment disputes.