Mar

28

Working With Autism


Hi, my name’s Josh and I work at head office in the training department. What I love about working at Creative Support is that no two days are the same and I find it very heart-warming to be able to work with peers that share the same ethos and values. My colleagues never judge or stereotype me for having autism and whenever my behaviours or ways of thinking seem unclear they take time to listen and understand.

My work life hasn’t always been easy, but what I value at Creative Support is the support and encouragement I receive from my manager and colleagues. They communicate well with me and I feel included and part of a strong team.

Autistic minds are usually ‘mono-topic’ processors. In layman’s terms this means, we tend to focus on a single task and find it hard to deal with multiple tasks. Think of it like when you’re focusing a camera, you have to focus out of what you’re doing to hone in on the detail of the subject you’re photographing!

Because of my autism I find myself easily overloaded by noise at work, especially when there are people talking loudly and within close proximity. I once described it as a thousand keyboards all typing at once. When I’m faced with this, I tend to ask people move their conversation away or to lower the volume and they respect this request.

My colleagues understand that having autism brings some hurdles. They know that sometimes I will need support or require clarification, such as when learning a new processes. I am a visual learner, so by showing me an example or a visual representation, it makes it easier for me to process the information and I can commit that more easily to my visual memory.

I have also battled with depression for many years and I have learnt to channel this into writing and my work. I think being honest about my mental health helps me to keep on track and deal with the dark moments when they arise.

I can sometimes feel socially inferior as I find it hard to talk about things I’m not confident about or not interested in and there are some days where I just won’t socialise, but generally I keep myself busy and when I’m not in work I am a freelance creative artist, dabbling in a variety of media formats, including poetry, fine art photography and also volunteer with community groups and local charities, such as Oldham LGBT Consortium and the LGBT Foundation.

 

 

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