According to the DSM-V, autism spectrum disorders are four times more common among males than females. This could be due to either Sex-differential genetic or hormonal factors, or simply that many females suffering from autism go under the radar, perhaps due the fact that their behaviour can differ greatly from stereotypical autistic traits. The diagnostic […]

Is there a gender bias within the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders? — psychology related
Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | July 1, 2020

Accessing the Autistic Skill set 4. Reviews and Reflection Part 1

Performance reviews and any review can be stressful for anyone, most of us would agree, even when confidence levels are good and are essential to companies. For many autistic people they can be really stressful based on life experiences. These could include criticism for autistic traits, including behaviours, expressing yourself and other interactions including outbursts due to stress.

Add to this the nerves kicking in, trying to work out what is meant by what is said, what you are meant to say back, trying to remember it, so it can be noted later. We, as autistic people can have issues with short term working memory. Everything it seems is expected to take place in one meeting. You and the manager. Even with trusted managers this can be hard. Then you are told your meeting notes are not correct and you misunderstood something.

Further meetings have not always bee encouraged or considered necessary with me in the past leading to confusion, lack of trust in management and lack of clarity of areas where performing well or necessary improvement. The consequences were major, for me destroying my confidence, and the company losing my skills and active input as I felt unable to communicate with management.

Good review systems done well will lead to mutual trust and respect, leading to good relations and good performance. Lose the trust of the employees and you lose a lot of potential talent, it is hard to regain.

I will discuss some approaches which may help. More effort may be required, but boy, it can be worth it to open up our Pandora’s box of skills.

  1. Representation

It may be normal practice to have a 1 to 1 talk with your line manager, and all to go well with the process. However it might be helpful to have a person to support the autistic person at reviews (or indeed any other important meeting). This could be a Union Representative, Human Resources representative or someone from a charity like the National Autistic Society. Someone who hopefully knows the person, who can clarify any questions and responses and keep the autistic person calm and able to explain any issues. Immediate responses may not be given as time may be needed to process the answer then express it.

2. Advance information

Where possible it might be helpful to provide information on the questions and issues to be discussed in advance. This will enable forward preparation, on the areas to be raised, and collation of information to address this. An interim report might be considered here from the Line Manager to help with complete responses.

3. Recording the information during the meeting

Reviews will often involve long talks, verbally. This can be hard to some so discussing how feedback is preferred is very useful. Thus providing advance information. Trying to discuss and remember everything, when it is verbal can be hard to filter.

Why might this be? We are consciously filtering out information, I do not read body language easily, concentrating on the words more. I therefore lose/totally misunderstand some of the message. I then need to write it all down ASAP! This requires concentration and I may not always look fully engaged. Having someone to help with making notes at the time will reduce stress and ensure accurate records.

Possibly, more importantly, it will ensure full confidence in the Review Process where confidence has previously been lost. I have experienced that, adversely affecting the success of the process as I have felt I was not trusted or respected, and that management write ups were not accurate.

4. Feedback on performance and Reflection time

It should be agreed how the feedback is wanted and how this will be done. Long meetings, verbally given information can be hard to process and retain and may require reflection time. Written reports may help as it will allow for processing of information at leisure.

Please still remember once you have met person with autism, you have met one person with autism. We are all different. This is based on my experience. We want to do well in companies. Consider how best to conduct reviews and we will really shine.

I hope this has helped, look out for the next information on Reviews.

Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | July 1, 2020

The Sense of Touch and Autistic Perception — Speaking of Autism…

Breaking down the sense of touch and how it may be perceived differently by autistic people.

The Sense of Touch and Autistic Perception — Speaking of Autism…
Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | June 30, 2020

The Twenty-Six Senses — Speaking of Autism…

Humans have way more than five senses! Learn about the others and some ways they may impact autistic people with different sensory systems.

The Twenty-Six Senses — Speaking of Autism…
Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | June 29, 2020

Why autistics have obsessions

The English Introvert

Autistics like to perform deep dives and go into detail about obscure details. Everyone knows this. However what people do not know is why autistics do this. They just think it’s a quirk of autism to get hung up on these things.

The autistic obsession is a way of controlling all of the input that you have to deal with in life. Right now the world is changing in quite a dramatic fashion. It wouldn’t surprise me if this is freaking out a lot of autistic people. We don’t like change because we have difficulty with processing all the possibilities of life. We like structure for this reason. With nothing changing there is no fear so life can continue as normal. This is a very debilitating way to live your life.

The autistic brain gets stuck on ideas that it has yet to process. This can take years for it…

View original post 359 more words

Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | June 29, 2020

Accessing the Autistic Skill Set 3. Ripening and Growing Part 1

I hope I have now provided guidelines into how to get to respect and understand the autistic person, and their immense skill set. I will now tell you how to understand them better and build on this and help ripen and grow them. This requires teamwork and patience.

When doing this and anything else when working with autistic people it is important to remember this. Once you have met one autistic person you have met one autistic person. We are all individuals, and our needs and responses can change with circumstances.

1. Training

Where there is inhouse training this can really help improve skills in areas such as communications, confidence, assertiveness, work related and many other areas.  External training may also help, along with ‘Access to Work’ and help from charities.

Implementing training as any issues arise rather than taking more extreme reaction will help increase rather than reduce or potentially destroy confidence which may be fragile anyway.

2. Communications

Building on what was discussed when getting to know the person, this will ensure they feel able to continue to communicate, however this might be, written, verbal or with support. Useful training may improve this, as will support from colleagues, managers or other support sources.

This may be for daily communications or meetings. By reducing stress by implementing suitable 2 way communications, issues relating to this will be eased, helping everyone. This will help autistic people to prepare, possibly getting support, from trusted friends. Follow up meetings may help to clarify further issues. This does not indicated any lack of intelligence, simply how we process information.

3. Meltdowns/ shutdowns

All too often these are viewed in negative ways, as tantrums or sulking, and that we are behaving like spoilt children, and not responsible adults, when faced with circumstances.

This is not the case. It means we have become overwhelmed/overloaded, often by outside stimulation. These maybe sensory, emotional or information over load or just too much unpredictability, and may lash out or shutdown. They may take place in public or in private and are not attention seeking, but rather more embarassing.

They are not a reaction of choice, to gain a reward, such as with a childhood tantrum. They can be exhausting, and need to be dealt with appropriately, if possible once the warning signs are visible, thus stopping them, maintaing or increasing productivity and confidence

To recap I have now said how training can help, as can extra understanding of communications and melt downs, when working with autistic people.

Thank you for reading. I have more information on how to ripen and grow autistic staff which I am sure you will enjoy and consider when working with autistic staff.

Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | June 22, 2020

Autism executive function — OldLady With Autism

Getting things done Disorganized, lazy, procrastinator, negligent, sloppy, messy, always late, late bills, late for appointments, late for work, cluttered, dirty, overwhelmed! This is the life of many autistic adults. Although we love details, many of us need help with every day life due to struggles with executive function. Executive function is the part of […]

Autism executive function — OldLady With Autism
Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | June 20, 2020

Autistic? Or Just “Quirky”? — More Good Days – Parenting Blog

As a parent educator and as a parent of autistic kids, I’ve had conversations with people about “how autistic is he”, “is she high functioning autistic” and “how do you know if your kid is autistic, or just ‘quirky’.” This post covers how to think about the autism SPECTRUM, and about questions of whether and how to seek a diagnosis.

Autistic? Or Just “Quirky”? — More Good Days – Parenting Blog

Autistics are like children in how wilful they are as everyone knows regardless of whether they have personal experience or not. They are both dedicated to what they want to achieve, how and when but because they don’t/can’t prioritise it’s not always a good time so this creates issues. Dedication is a very important quality […]

Autism – Employability problems arising from Time and Money Management — The English Introvert
Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | June 18, 2020

Autistic Pride Day

Autism is not a disease that can be cured. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to celebrate. As Dr Tony Attwood said it is a difference not a defect. We see the world differently and think differently due to how our brains work.

People with autism have contributed so much to society without which it would not be what it is today. Just think about

Nicola Tesla – AC electricity

Bill Gates – Microsoft

Alan Turing – code breaker in Ww2

Steve Jobs – home computers, fonts, mobile phones

Temple Grandin – cattle expert

Sir Anthony Hopkins – actor

Gary Numan – singer

Daryll Hannah – actress

All people with autism, or significant autistic traits. Just think, tonight you could be sitting at home, in the dark, no electricity, mobile phones and missing out on some wonderful entertainment.

Celebrate the diversity of everyone in the world, especially autistic people today.

#Autism #ASD #asperger #Autistic #AutistiPrideDay #disability #aspergers #AutisticSpectrum

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