Posted by: jofarmer | May 22, 2020

Autism Acceptance — Positively ASD

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and going beyond the day, week and month, I also want to focus on the importance of acceptance and inclusion.

via Autism Acceptance — Positively ASD

I struggle with eye contact, have a flat, slightly stilted way of speaking, and walk with a gait. I love learning about relatively minor things in great detail, love telling people about those things, and can get bored quickly on subjects that don’t interest me. Routines or having items in a specific order give me […]

via So, it’s Autism Awareness Day — Justin McElroy: journalist/ ranker of stuff

Welcome back to Part 2 of your insight into Respecting and understanding the secret world of the autistic person and work.

5. Preferred forms of communication

We from infant have not seen, been overwhelmed by verbal, body language and tone of voice, and the expected response.  Our responses may seem slow at times, incorrect.

Why is this?  We process information differently, trying to block out distractions.  According to Tony Attwood it can take up to a minute to process and put information into the correct order prior to speaking it.  For others reflection time, discussing with a trusted person and being able to write it up I can help.

As for the distractions I mentioned, shutting eyes, covering eyes, other actions this means we have less to think about, enabling better processing as it can be hard for autistic people to filter out distractions.

I find shutting my eyes allows me to view my thoughts, on my internal TV screen, feeling words making patterns to process thoughts, feeling/seeing inside what will foods will work together.  Mad? But true, the cross over of senses is called SYNESTHIA and is a trait of autism.

6. Autistic mindset – consistency & rules

Rules is rules – black is black, white is white in some areas, there may be very little middle ground, grey area.

a. Processes – consistency, clear guidelines 

We can find clear guidelines useful, do we find our way, or do a certain way? Can we change it if we see a better way?

Telling us to

  1. do something this way, copy rigidly
  2. then, this is a guide, you can find your own way
  3. you do it differently, you’re told that it’s wrong, do it this way, DON’T ARGUE JUST DO IT
  4. All the time others have been doing it how you have been told not to, no word from management.

Very confusing and inconsistent, demoralising.  Especially due to our processing abilities.

Due to our processing abilities we can sometimes very quickly see that a way we are shown/told is not the most time aware.  However if we are told to follow it, sharply, we will, despite being told to save time and the fact we can see improvements, we will copy it, possibly wasting time.  Obeying rules, thereby avoiding positive corrections.  Not feeling able to fully contribute.  Possibly stopping contributing as we want to.

Confusing, and upsetting when we are just trying to do things properly.  Not what any organisation wants.  Tell us what to do if there is single system of and we will do it and where there are changes be prepared to explain.  Feel free to ask why we think our way works.

There are times when sticking to systems, particularly when dealing with information, really brings out our strengths. This does not mean that we will not amend if necessary.  This attention to detail can be invaluable and timesaving.

b. Communications

Apply this to communication, our passion/ideas get lost, as we do not use the correct words etc.  We try to use the correct communication, we do it wrong.  Communication is lost as we do not wish to do it wrong. If we feel we will not be heard we may stop trying.

Arguing may not be us intending to be argumentative but us trying to give our side, but not as expected as we have not learnt how to from lifelong learning and observations. Being told to use stock phrases will result in more effort going into produce these than ideas!  

If the overall message is misunderstood it may be considered to be an order to be followed rigidly, leading to frustration on both sides and wasted time.

To avoid this take time to listen to us. This as a management process will really open us up.

7. Be patient with us

Living with Autism can be  exhausting.

  • We are acting our way through a foreign land.  Expected to communicate correctly, in all ways.  Getting strange reactions when we fail.  Wanting to succeed. Confusing.
  • We have our own private worlds (each person’s is different), friendships and interpersonal communications take an effort all too often.  These are places we can recharge our batteries
  • We do like socialising, more on our own terms.  This is not out of selfishness, but based on emotional energy levels.  Time out can be necessary, it is not intended as rude.
  • We have felt hurt, misunderstood and left out in the past – we don’t want it to happen again.  We just want to bring our skills to the world of work, skills which truly excite us, like databases, information and computing.

We want to do our jobs properly, understand us, and we will.  Let us u unwind, feel less stressed and if we do get overwhelmed try to understand why, just temporarily struggling to express ourselves.  Understand our worlds and we and companies can grow together.

To recap, understand our preferred forms of communication, mindset and that if you are patient you will open a box of skills to be treasured and nurtured.

Tomorrow I will help you how to do this.  I look forward to seeing you then.

 

Posted by: jofarmer | May 22, 2020

Autistic Joy — Autism and Expectations

I remember the first time I heard the term Autism actually being applied to someone: I was seventeen, it was 1997, and I was volunteering with a local respite care team during the Summer Holidays. There was a huge group of children with various disabilities and difficulties, and I was there to… well… play with […]

via Autistic Joy — Autism and Expectations

Posted by: jofarmer | May 22, 2020

Living Life One Pause at a Time — Dr. Eric Perry

By Dr. Eric Perry, PhD Image Credit: Pixabay “There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” ~Anonymous What if all we […]

via Living Life One Pause at a Time — Dr. Eric Perry

Posted by: jofarmer | May 21, 2020

Autism and eye contact — The English Introvert

Now everyone knows that autistic people are very bad at looking people in the eyes. There always distracted by looking at other things like moving objects or a particularly vivid picture. If we’re talking me, words are what catch my attention. I came across an article written by an autistic on WordPress looking for the […]

via Autism and eye contact — The English Introvert

Posted by: jofarmer | May 21, 2020

Autism – Social skills — Cynni’s Blog

As most of you long time readers know, I have autism. It’s what they used to call a high functioning version, it used to be called Asperger’s Syndrome. It makes me struggle with social situations. More than I care to admit. Plus Ive been bullied for many years throughout schools, so that doesn’t really help […]

via Autism – Social skills — Cynni’s Blog

Posted by: jofarmer | May 21, 2020

5 Important Qualities of Leadership — Dr. Eric Perry

Written by Dr. Eric Perry Image Credit: Pixabay “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams Whether we are trying to lead a country or a household, we must remember it is both a privilege and a challenge to be given an opportunity […]

via 5 Important Qualities of Leadership — Dr. Eric Perry

Like with anyone there is a lot to consider when respecting and understanding others.  However with autistic people this has it’s own challenges in addition to working with Neurotypical and helping us settle in and feel relaxed at work, and flourish with the company

Ways to help get to know the person and therefore learn how to work best as a team

1. Pre-start talks

To follow on from my comment yesterday there are ways to ensure the autistic person feels welcome, some experienced by me.  One which I have experienced is a Pre-start talk with Human Resources and managers.  Many of the next points were discussed there.  This really helped me relax

2. List of my needs and concerns

I was asked to write this up, covering my view points of life, concerns, reactions (or lack of at times) and how to help me.  I was told this would put on my personnel file, and will help at reviews and any other discussion.  My Scout group is interested in having this too.

The importance of this is that it gives the managers, possibly with neurotypical thinking patterns an insight into my atypical world.  There can be distinct differences between the two thought patterns, affected by past life experiences.

3. Working Environment

Checking that where I sit was acceptable in terms of the enviroment and distractions affecting my ability to concentrate.  Autistic people can be very over or undersensitive to environmental factors, in my case light and movement.  It may also be helpful for some to be in a quiet area, with limited distractions.  I was told of one place they put those with these requirements together, to the benefit of the company and productivity of the autistic staff.

In some places autistic staff are given permission to take time out, if they are starting to feel overwhelmed, just communicating this need to managers by an agreed sign.  This increases productivity by reducing stress and meltdowns. Just by having this permission can reduce stress.

4. Confidence

This can be a big issue when working with autistic people when looked at from both sides.

a/ The Autistic viewpoint

75% of us (estimated) have been bullied at school, this may have occured in work as well, due to communication misunderstandings.  It takes a lot to gain our trust, but it can be easy to lose it with wrong approaches in communication.  Regaining it can be hard.  It may not be obvious that this trust has been lost as this may not be said for various reasons.

Clear, positive comments help show us we are on the right track, silence is confusing. I have misunderstood this in the past to mean I am performing well, only to be told otherwise weeks later at a review! This did not help my confidence levels to grow.

b/ The Line Manager view point

Our communications level may not be how is expected, how we express ourselves is different, quiet/too enthusiastic, we may need to be asked.  Giving positive corrections may be seen as helpful, ie you did that wrong implied, do this way, don’t answer back implied.  As  above positive comments help with clear permission for relaxed two way discussions.

I hope I have provided insight on how to understand us.  I look forward to seeing you with some more tips tomorrow.  Please contact me if you want further information.

Posted by: jofarmer | May 20, 2020

What You Can Do To Help Manage Stress — No Stress

What is stress? Stress is the opposite of relaxation. Stress can occur with both positive and negative events in our lives. Stress can push our buttons and evoke emotions. 489 more words

via What You Can Do To Help Manage Stress — No Stress

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