Hello, my name is Jordan and I am 25 years old. I was diagnosed just over a year ago and still have not fully processed this yet, I do not think. In December I managed to achieve what many autistic adults struggle to in managing to find full time work. I was very proud of this at the time and felt it was with possibly one of the best organisations for me to be understood properly and treated fairly. I won't name the organisation but safe to say this was not the case.
I feel that over the last 12 months or more that I have seen that autistic people are still seen primarily for their weaknesses rather than what they have to offer. I try to watch content that is aimed at promoting better awareness of autism where I am aware of it. So far, what I have seen generally focuses on difficulties of autism again, not the strengths and capabilities. Not showing autistic people thriving in a host of situations where their stereotype could not. And in some cases even portrays autistic people as freaks to be pitied.
For one reason or another, the ultimate aim of increased understanding and awareness and by extension, equal opportunities, is not being fully reached. I have tried to get involved in projects through my work to use my experiences and set of skills but have found this to be far harder than it should be. It has been like butting my head against a wall. If anyone is aware of any projects that I would be able to get involved with in some capacity, I would be most grateful. I don't know what form that would take but I am very open about my diagnosis and am keen to use my experiences and see how I can be best utilised to help.
Any questions, feel free to ask.
I think one area that needs highlighting is the amount of money that is spent on scientific research into autism. Our brains seem to be of interest because of their atypical nature. Biologists, neurologists and psychologists are all undertaking expensive research projects and have been doing so for some time. If a fraction of this money was spent on educating the general public about autism, and countering the myths, misconceptions and preconceived assumptions, we would be better served. Not sure how you would go about that though.
Hi Graham. I do not know where to start at the moment. Which is why I'm just trying to reach out and see if there are others feeling like I am or if there are people better positioned who are looking for people to contribute their point of view. It's not surprising that so much is spent researching the brains of people with autism when you see what they can achieve. However I don't know if that particular pot of money is ever going to be spent on educating the public. I think it would be left to charities or media companies or someone else. There are pieces of work being made but they just aren't achieving their objective so perhaps in addition to a bit of extra funding, the money that is being spent on things such as short films needs to be better directed.
I work for a department that should be very disability friendly and although my line manager is amazing a lot of people assume I can't do things I'm very capable of because of my label, which is incredibly frustrating.
I'm newly diagnosed too and would love to have videos or case studies of autistic people thriving at work that can be used embedded into autism awareness training.
"a lot of people assume I can't do things I'm very capable of because of my label, which is incredibly frustrating."I had this at the job centre when I was first looking for work, so infuriating.
Yes I feel your pain. I think the assumptions are still out there, that all people with autism have the same traits and difficulties. I don't know the answer to this other than to have open discussions where people who don't understand are able to ask without feeling worried they will say something wrong. It is certainly a difficult situation but I have spent long enough thinking and not taking action that now I am determined to keep moving forward with this.
Sadly it might be the case that being good on neurodiversity might just be a publicity stunt in a lot of cases. If you are aware of any projects or blogs or anything that you think represents autism in an interesting way i would love to hear about them.
I was interested to read your post, because I would also like to increase understanding and awareness of autism in some way, but haven't a clear idea what to do yet. I'm starting with my local church, mainly because my autistic son gave up going there because of very noisy worship and being bullied by a child of one of the pastoral team. (!) But it would also be for the sake of anyone else in that situation. The people there are mostly friendly, but I don't think that many have a realistic understanding of ASD.
I'm self diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome myself, and intending to ask for an official referral from my GP soon.
I'm starting with small stuff, leaving autism helpline contact details on the notice board and some books in the library, and hoping to set up a quiet room for the overwhelmed. The pastor is provisionally OK about that. But I can see that I'll end up having to talk to the congregation about what I'm doing and why, I just hope I don't muck it up.
Incidentally, you ask later whether anyone can recommend any interesting blogs, have you tried "The Autistic Advocate"?
Thank you for the recommendation, I will certainly be reading more of it. I think every little helps and I'm sure you wont "muck it up." Bringing about changes in your church seems like a great place to start. I think when we aren't sure where to start, starting somewhere gets the ball rolling and starts opening doors. Its the starting somewhere that has been a problem for me. I have suffered with a lot of anxiety and serial procrastination and can find slow progress incredibly frustrating. However I'm determined to create some forward momentum now. I think I have well and truly reached the point where I am no longer willing to tolerate things how they are. I don't really know what projects are out there, hence my post, but if i don't find one suitable I will be forced to try and do something myself and be looking for others to get involved.