Finding a few more puzzle pieces!

I’ve had an epiphany. This tends to happen every now and then because even though I know I have autism, I don’t always recognise the way it affects me.

On Tuesday 1st April 2014, Horizon: Living with Autism was broadcast on BBC Two. Showing a window on a magnificent world full of lateral thinking and brutal honesty, the documentary focussed on three case studies who have found ways of getting through life while they’ve lived with autism. There was a feeling of complete positivity for me that shone a bright and beautiful light on the autistic mind.

Particularly, the relationship between Kathy Lette and her son, Julius, made me smile. I’ve had a chance to write about Julius before, but I have never seen him. During the documentary, he was asked to define autism but he struggled to do so. This made me think and over the days that have passed since, I’ve reached a little eureka! moment! Read more of this post

The Prince’s Trust – An employer who is listening

Along my journey of trying to show employers how autistic people can become autistic employees who are in some ways possibly more painfully honest and hard-working than existing employees (perhaps!), I’ve had a stop/start experience.

With Autistic Achievers in 2013, I had the chance to speak to a number of HR professionals from a number of different employers. There were trips to London to be had and for one meeting particularly, a very swanky day where I felt like a big shot in Canary Wharf, but no ideas or thoughts were followed up. No matter how promising meetings seemed, they didn’t produce anything.

It felt like autism was a stigma too far for business. Like the thought of entertaining an autistic employee was a story that Enid Blyton couldn’t concoct, but I’ve had an epiphany in the last few days from an employer who got me started on my journey last year. Read more of this post

An irreverent (irrelevant) take on the NAS Professional Conference 2014!

 

Thinking about the list of honour The Boy, a child who John Williams spoke of with a lot of love and affection as he transferred his My Son’s Not Rainman blog into a session at The National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference 2014, drew up by getting banned from holiday camps, summer clubs and schools made me laugh!

Ros Blackburn showing captivated listeners a quote from her mum at her talk on how autistic people should never use can’t in life, but instead use cannot as a way of showing something can’t be done yet but it can be done in the future, made me cry.

Being around an incredible group of autistic advocates who have fought unique battles in their unique lives made me feel humbled. By spending an amazing three days in Harrogate, Great Britain with autistic heroes, professionals who work with autistic heroes and employees from The National Autistic Society itself, I experienced experiences and felt feelings that were much stronger than I’d planned for. Read more of this post

Me, myself and I

What have you decided to do for Valentines Day this year? How are you planning to show your love for your significant other at the time of year where we are meant to appreciate the person who has decided to give themselves to you?

Will you be going out for a romantic meal? Perhaps a nice stroll afterwards under the moonlight and stars? Maybe even a flight if you’ve had the forward planning to take an umbrella along on what is shaping to be another windy winter’s night?

That sounds lovely doesn’t it? Or does the thought of relaxing and sitting in the warmth at home sound a better option? I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to have a partner in recent years but for the first time in a long time, Valentines Day hasn’t got me down in 2014 and I think I’ve figured out the reason why. Read more of this post

Too complacent to claim?

Claiming Jobseekers Allowance, or JSA, is something a lot of people have to do, whether they are autistic or not, as they seek to move into the world of employment in Great Britain.

If somebody is unemployed and if they don’t have the luxury of falling back on savings or support from family members or friends, this method of support that helps a jobseeker to thrive while they try to get back on their feet is much appreciated but there are downsides that come with receiving it.

You have to, in some cases, be looked down on by employment advisers when you go to sign your name for a little bit of free money. You have to feel out of place when you go along to claim but genuinely want to get yourself into employment as quickly as possible and worst of all, you have to realise you need help to live. Read more of this post

A checklist for the unemployed (and autistic)!

Having tried to find employment for autistic people in Great Britain through Autistic Achievers in 2013, I’ve recently started the process of hoping I’ve managed to make a good impression on society and show how anybody with autism can function if they become an autistic employee.

I’ve joined the ranks of Britain’s unemployed and have remembered how it feels to be looking for employment. I’ve started the process of joining countless online recruitment agencies and I’ve started to apply for job vacancies again, but there is a difference this time.

Through understanding what my talents are in a way I haven’t experienced before and by finding the fire in my belly by setting up Autistic Achievers as a service which helped me to approach employers in a whole new way, I feel confident. I know what I need to do in order to find my dream job, and I know the checklist I have to follow! Read more of this post

Chewigem – A colourful choice that could make autistic people cool!

When you get anxious, nervous or just uncomfortable, do you find you’ve found a way to calm yourself down? Do you find one act relaxing which can soothe whatever you’re feeling?

Your calming mechanism could be a form of stimming, such as flapping your hands or touching each of your fingers with your thumb in a discreet manner, or you could find relief in ways you don’t always realise.

For me, I don’t realise this all of the time as it happens but I’ve realised I bite my bottom lip. There is no apparent reason for it in my mind and I can’t figure out why I do it. I just do but I’m not alone in using biting or chewing as a way of relieving anxiety, and a mum of an autistic daughter has caught on to this too as she’s developed a range of products which could make a lot of difference to autistic people. Read more of this post