Hi everyone. I received a high functioning autism diagnosis just over a year ago (at the age of 36) and have been dealing with understanding it ever since.
I have been having regular sessions with a clinical psychologist at my local mental health hospital as as well as the diagnosis I was also told I was suffering from depression and anxiety.
A large part of our chats revolve around my concerns about getting back into employment. She has mentioned, as have I read online so many times, that employers love people on the spectrum who have crazy attention to detail.
This is when I feel like a fraud. I make stupid mistakes all the time, I lose focus on longer tasks and flip flop between interests. In my previous jobs I was able to do really technically complicated things like software development but made silly errors and was unable to do simple data entry into a spreadsheet. This theme has followed me since primary school.
Today I accidentally came across an article saying that it is common for people on the spectrum to also suffer from ADHD and it then listed the common symptoms of ADHD. I tick an awful lot of them.
What I don't understand is how can someone on the spectrum, who are supposed to have incredible attention to detail, also have something like ADHD where they continually make silly careless mistakes - I don't see how they are compatible.
I'm going to raise this next week at my next session - it very complicated as I am, as far as the diagnostician and the clinical psychologist I've been seeing, autistic. But as I say, I often feel like a fraud and before I start looking for a job openly stating that I'm autistic, only to say "oh, but I don't have some of the really useful attributes", I want to make sure I fully understand it.
Does that make sense? Any thoughts?
chuckalicious said:I'm autistic, only to say "oh, but I don't have some of the really useful attributes
but you do....have you looked up the positive skill set that you can bring. X
Oh yes, I know I have them :-) but the attention to detail is the big one in terms of attractive employment attributes. That's why they say software development, testing etc is great for us.
However I did that job for too long and can tell you it wasn't good for me. Far too social and collaborative and required lots of meetings, project planning etc.
I work in computing as well.. do you feel comfortable in asking in an adjustment in working conditions?
i once had a student, fluent in many programming languages....they wanted him to lead the team,.... in the end they took him on working from home as did not want to lose his skill set
I think it would depend on the situation. In the job I did a big part of the work was managing my own workload, meeting users for specifications, meeting deadlines, dealing with big finding and criticism. Didn't deal well with any of that.
I have found I do best at tasks which have a definite start and end. Software does not have that.
Ok..so do you want to stay in the software testing sphere or try something different. I imagine that you are under a lot of pressure to gain employment but you have a much needed skill set..though the trouble is voicing your needs
Have you also tried phoning (yes I know, the autistic society offering our worst wishes a phone line) the bad helplines for guidance on employment?
I have a form to fill out for an organisation that helps people like me get back into work. I havent filled it out yet as I'm not in a position to get back to work until next year (child care) so in the meantime I'm trying to figure out my strengths and why they are what they are and thus what sort of work would be right for me.
Please don't beat yourself up though as you have much to offer
Trying to. Hard to get out of the loop of making mistake after mistake after mistake. Getting there though.
And no one can take that away from you..how can you keep making mistake after mistake but also be getting there! You beat yourself up too much. You are you and this is your journey..
you're doing fine...more than fine x