So I volunteer in a charity shop and have done so since last Autumn. After a lot of asking about studying a qualification with them since they offer NVQs, I found out that I was due to start one later this month or early next month. Don’t get me wrong, I love studying but only if the environment is right and supportive about it.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself being constantly criticised for just about anything. From not printing out gift aid labels on the shop floor (I would normally send those to the next floor, since the office has the means to do it there) to being asked to sort through some boxed donations (which I did alone) and then being told I shouldn’t have been the one to sort them and don’t touch anything again!
I’m really disappointed it’s come to this, since the charity have paid for me to start the NVQ. However, I’m very discouraged and in a bleak place. I’m unemployed and not able to work, struggle with depression and anxiety attacks and can easily become disjointed with living in general. Apart from being at the shop, I only see my parents and my boyfriend since no one else wants to spend time with me. I mean, I’m autistic, so to them I’m a liability.
Is there a way forward for me? Can life be kind and nice for once at least? After this, I generally don’t think so! Should I walk away and give up?
I am really sorry to here about some of the problems you've faced at work. You may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who can provide you with information and advice . You can contact the team via telephone on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor. Alternatively, should you prefer to send a message, you can do so via their webform:
It may also be useful to to give your employers information about autism (including Asperger syndrome) and reasonable adjustments, you could send links to fact sheets on our website - What is an ASD - www.autism.org.uk/what-is-an-asd and Recruiting Someone with an ASD - www.autism.org.uk/recruiting
I hope this helps,