Hi, My employer seem to be invalidating my AS diagnosis. I had a disciplinary appeal the other day and somebody made the comment' Oh that's just one person's opinion', I was gobsmacked all the problems I have had throughout my life and it was like this one person brought my whole world crashing down. I have struggled all my life with communicating with others and feeling different, I got my diagnosis 3 years ago from a psychologist that advertises on this very web site, who specialises in adult AS diagnosis and used NICE guidelines, surely that is proof that this person is is qualified to diagnose AS, isn't it?
My God with all the problems others have posted on here along with mine it seems there are one he'll of a lot of ignorant s*** employers around. I've now got Access to work involved so maybe things will improve? time will tell. I have to say thanks for all the advice various people have given me on here, I'm glad I joined.
OH yeah, thanks as that is something else my manager has not done to my knowledge - contacted Access to Work
You can do it yourself. Google it, Trainspotter put me on to them. I spoke to them today self referred 2 weeks ago and was told somebody will be in touch to do a joint work assessment you can ask for your boss to be there as well. They also mentioned another charity, whose name I can't remember, that gives mental health support whilst you are at work, next time they contact me I'll ask for the details and let you know. There's just 1 problem with access to work, your employer has to pay for the assessment but the way I see it is if they don't its more evidence for discrimination.
Your employer only pays if they employ over a certain number of people.
It is a way of means test which I think is some sort of ironic justice. Your employer will also have to pay in full for anything deemed to be essential as part of a reasonable adjustment. They will speak to your boss separately if you do not wish to have a joint meeting so weigh up the pros and cons of a joint meeting. Remember that the assessor should be on your side to represent your interests.
Failure of your employer to allow access to work or failure to comply with their recommendations gives grounds for grievance, and ultimately a case at an employment tribunal.
the downside of that is that Access to work will leave it to you to enforce their recommendations so keep a copy of their report. After the workplace assessment though the employer will know what is expected of them, and once you have a support worker if that is deemed necessary, they should help you out by explaining to your employer about the adjustments.
Do not forget either that should cirucumstances change in your workplace and further adjustments become viable, then these should also be put into place. The employer cannot remove adjustments either once they are put in place.
You read my mind that's what I was thinking, if they refuse then that could be seen as being unwilling to make reasonable adjustments, my employer is huge 4000 + staff so they'd have to pay. They also metioned another charity that deals with mental health at work which you can contact but I cant remember the name? Its not one Ive ever heard of before. Do you think its best to have a joint meeting or just myself and the assessor? Personally I want to raise a grievance now but the rep has advised against it.
Hi Bookworm. There are advantages to both seeing the assessor with the employer/manager and on your own.
In my case, I saw the assessor on my own. I thought, whether it is right or wrong, that by seeing the assessor alone I could be more 'Frank' and not mince words, that I would not get tongue tied and not have the employer be able to say things like 'I was disappointed that you could not talk to me about this' which is a common tack where I work.
Access to Work tend to use Remploy by default for workplace support. I cannot comment on how good Remploy are, but if you google Autism Workplace Support for your area you may come up with some other charities. The only thing is that the support has to be on their 'approved' list, it is no good hoping for someone who is not approved to be funded to help you.
When you see your assessor enquire also about some training for managers and staff on Autism and how you are affected. You will have to 'come out' by agreeing to your fellow staff colleagues to be informed for training to be given to colleagues but I had no problem from my colleagues at all.
When this has been done, ask for the presentation slides or notes to be given to you by the trainers as it could also provide evidence for future discrimination in the future if they go against what the training says or take no notice.
The training given about me stated ways in which I was affected and what could be expected and what they should do in certain circumstances, eg if it appeared I was about to have a meltdown. It may not be a magic bullet but it will go a long way, with your support worker, to prevent disciplinaries for behaviour as most alleged behaviour 'problems' will be because they have not followed what it said in training or not provided the correct reasonable adjustments.
Remember, you are autistic and nothing anyone does or says will change that. You can be given understanding which will prevent problems, and your support worker will help you know what you should do in circumstances when your autistic tendencies are manifesting themselves before the point of meltdown.
But the answer to any workplace problems is to remove the source of the problem not a disciplinary or a performance improvement plan which is unachievable. And for this the Workplace support worker is invaluable. My support worker also sits in with my supervisions and prevents problems which occurred in the past.
I don't think raising a grievance right now when you are shortly to be in a position where your employer will be served up a large slice of humble pie is the best time. Keep notes of what has happened, emails, supervision notes, etc as well as thinking what potential witnesses you have, and these can be used in evidence later should things still be problematic and not solved and the recommendations of Access to Work not be carried through.
In my case it has been too late for months and I have followed as instructed by others outside work now. I feel I can trust nobody in my team who report me to manager for every little thing and of course nothing is in writing from them. Plus so much has been discussed about me without involving me that either adds to my perceptions or confirms them.
I will contact "Access to Work" this coming week and after GP discussion then I am relaxed by things outside albeit the verbal things I am told, never in writing, that I take literally do not help the Stress/Pressure I feel under.
The large organisations who talk the talk need to improve the walk for those who seem to know better and/or can get away with the treatment of those who are diverse.
I may ask the assessor if it is possible to have some time alone with them before the joint visit with my manager, not sure if this is possible but is probably the best thing to do as I seem to either get tongue tied or start crying and I'm not a weepy person until the last few months when all this started. I wish you were my rep because I feel he needs a rocket up his jacksie!
Good times ahead as I approach the next steps on my journey.
Two phone calls tomorrow and Access to Work contacted before Friday. GP great and gets it, Some real NT's that don't get the mineshaft they have dug.
Pharrell Williams "Happy"
Yazz "The Only Way is Up"
Sounds good! You must be the same generation as me to remember Yazz!
That was a bit before my time but I also like The Who and remember Baba O Riley on the motorcycle road safety advert, space dust and skateboards
My experience of the assessors has been very positive. I don't think it would be unreasonable at all for you to ask to see them separately before jointly, and I would think that is the way they may act in any case.
Of course no one can ever guarantee the result of anything but I would be very optimistic that you will get training for staff and support, as well as the assessor recommending certain adjustments and perhaps equipment. Even such things for example as re-siting of photocopiers could be recommended if they are placed so they give distraction. Don't forget that failing to provide reasonable adjustments is an offence and any reasonable adjustments that are recommended would be very strong evidence in a tribunal if they were not provided.
Good luck, and there should not be anything to worry about. Your employer/manager will certainly not want to look unreasonable in front of the assessor. And if you do appear weepy or tongue tied this is another indication that you might need support.
To Eccentric, I would suggest you write notes of any meetings, how you are feeling, what others have said, and so on, and email them to yourself at, or as near as possible, to the time the events took place and noting times when the meetings took place, keeping them in one email 'thread'.
This will provide some evidence and will automatically include dates. It would then be up to the manager to attempt to disprove your version of events (what do their notes say?) and is much more powerful evidence than simply their word against yours.
I would also ask to be accompanied for any meeting as an adjustment object if simply asked in without notice for 'a few words' unless accompanied.
Thanks, the being tearful bit is a problem at the moment because I don't know when its going to come and so stops me saying what I need to say. Thanks for your advice when the assessor contacts me I will request a pre meeting chat. If it all goes t**s up I have already written a grievance and my resignation letter as I've had a gut full of them pushing me around..