Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


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Tinkerbell123
Tinkerbell123 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
edited February 2023 in Work and employment
Hi, I have recently realised I'm autistic and have told my employer as I have had periods of sickness through burnout and require reasonable adjustments. I had an occupational health assessment last year where I pretty much told them what I needed. I had a meeting today to talk about some issues and was told I would need an official diagnosis for reasonable adjustments to be put in place despite already having some in place. As you likely know the waiting lists are years long. Is this really the case, do I need a diagnosis?
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  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
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    I'm no expert on employment law but just to ask the obvious question: how do you know you're autistic if you have not been formally assessed?

    It might be worth shelling out for a private assessment. ADOS is suitable for all ages might be the one to go for.
  • Tinkerbell123
    Tinkerbell123 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    @anisty I'm 52 and all my life I knew there was something different about me.  Once I knew via social media that some of the stereotypes of autism aren't accurate it all fit. It's the only thing that fits. The irony is that I would have essentially diagnosed what many clinicians and therapists have missed and now have to ask those same people to rubber stamp it. I begrudge paying to have a private assessment and to be honest if my health is at risk now I don't see why I should wait for reasonable adjustments. The diagnosis is not in question
  • Spoonbill
    Spoonbill Community member Posts: 70 Courageous
    edited February 2023
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    Hmm, certainly sounds like a bind. Thinking you might find informed discussions or links to targetted sources* in https://forum.scope.org.uk/categories/learning-disabilities-and-autism. FWIW, my layperson understanding was that the employer refers the person to the OT to establish reasonable adjustments and the OT reports back saying what the employer should do (and they can back and forth). If the OT felt you needed to have a diagnosis, at least at a common-sense level it seems odd if they didn't establish that at the time, and your employer might have even been able to assist with that. IMHO it should now be a case of consulting with you on the minor details, possibly involving the OT further depending on the technicalities.
    It's unclear whether this last meeting was with your manager, HR or the OT again, but what IMHO would be weird (and input from any OTs here might clarify whether or not this is true) would be for you to need to argue the toss about the general needs as if the OT assessment never happened? My two cents, anyway.
    *e.g. (at random) this or this
  • Spoonbill
    Spoonbill Community member Posts: 70 Courageous
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    p.s. if you felt that the OT wasn't qualified to assess and recommend in your case, perhaps you could also arrange an assessment with another OT that is?
  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
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    @Tinkerbell123 thanks for explaining🙂  I understand what you mean. Hope you get it sorted.

  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2023
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    Hi @Tinkerbell123. Welcome to Scope’s forum. It is great to see you have joined us. Thank you for already finding the courage to reach out to us. I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out, especially when you are new and finding things difficult.

    It sounds really frustrating that you were told you would need an official diagnosis for reasonable adjustments. Not least because, as you have said, you already have some in place. 

    Would you feel comfortable telling us a little more about what the reasonable adjustments look like for you that you are hoping for and if you are trying to access them through your employer or Access to Work?

    Morally, I would like to think that reasonable adjustments would be provided for anyone experiencing difficulties if it was ‘reasonable’ and would address the difficulties they were facing. However, by law, reasonable adjustments only have to be provided if:

    • Not doing so would equal discrimination due to a characteristic (such as disability)
    • You have a condition or disability that requires the reasonable adjustments

    However, with some reasonable adjustments, there are free alternatives that are readily available. I am hoping if we can understand a little more about the support you are needing at the moment that we can signpost you to some of these options  :)

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @Tinkerbell123 and a warm welcome to our online community! How are you today?

    I'm afraid this isn't an area I have particular expertise in, but would strongly advise you to contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service to get their professional opinion.

    I hope you can get some answers soon. Please let us know how you get on.
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  • Tinkerbell123
    Tinkerbell123 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    @L_Volunteer this is what is so confusing as I had an occ health assessment and I told them what I needed which are pretty basic so hybrid working, using ear loops, regular one to one's, discussion and planning around any change. Some of these seem like good management to me. But one of the managers was quite adversarial in a meeting so in true autistic style I cried for 2 hours and then made disability in the workplace a special interest and then after having some time to process I wrote an amazing email because I express myself better in writing! I now have an HR meeting on Tuesday to discuss but just wanted to know where I stand legally as I am concerned about my mental health
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2023
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    Oh no, I can really hear how difficult and upsetting/overwhelming this is for you @Tinkerbell123. Not least as you have said they are pretty basic   :( Mainly around communication. 

    Well done to you for recognising and utilising your preferred/stronger method of communication! That shows grit, especially as this was after you experienced it. You are demonstrating a strong character.

    Would you feel comfortable sharing a little with us about how you feel your HR meeting went on Tuesday? I hope it went well but we are here for you and listening to you if you would like some further support.

    You have mentioned being concerned about your mental health, would you feel comfortable sharing a little more with us about this too? I just want to ensure you feel supported the best you possibly can  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,280 Scope online community team
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    Hello @Tinkerbell123. I hope the meeting went well last Tuesday.

    If you're considering getting a formal assessment and diagnosis of autism, some of our members have previously mentioned looking into 'Right to Choose' as a faster route to get an assessment funded by the NHS. I haven't used any myself but a few of the practioners I've looked at that offer services under Right to Choose say wait times are around 3-6 months.
    Community Manager
    Scope
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