Autism and Aspergers
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Do employers generally lack the ability to provide meaningful support.

SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
I include my ASC diagnosis on my CV and am open and honest about my requirements and triggers for maximum transparency, otherwise how can your employer even begin to attempt to understand your condition and offer support?

Unfortunately every single employer I've been this way with since my diagnosis has paid me lip-service by telling me they want to work with me or that they know someone who has ASC but never actually doing anything that benefits me, instead labelling me as the problem when they in fact have simply ignored my attempts at communication and managing triggers.

They may well genuinely think they have tried but ultimately their minimal efforts do nothing to manage triggers which then results in me becoming abrasive and outspoken, which then leads to conflicts or meltdowns and ultimately depression.

At my last job for example, I told them that I need to work in a specific manner during projects and they assigned me to a colleague who completely ignored this and not only didn't communicate with me and the client well at all, but wasn't capable of planning and would ask me the same stupid questions about the status of said project, which he should have already known given that he was the project manager - part of my system of working includes a way for everyone involved in the project to view a checklist of tasks and their associated status but apparently it's easier just to ask me stupid questions.

One time he called me an hour before a meeting that no-one told me about, while I was in the middle of another important and time sensitive task, to tell me about said meeting.

This resulted in a meltdown that then bled over to a call with the CEO who I had to call immediately afterward, which then resulted in a written warning being issued with zero notice; they literally called me into a meeting and handed me letter, which then made me very angry indeed.

Needless to say that because they'd ignored my communication over the six month probation period they had to then deal with behaviours they didn't like and so three weeks ago after allowing me to work for an hour on a Thursday morning, I'm called into a meeting and am told it's not working and that I'm being let go.

It's been a similar story over the past three roles I've had since my diagnosis.

I tell them everything I feel will help both myself and my employer.

Get fed some story about them knowing someone with ASC and that they will provide support.

The employer then makes minimal effort to offer meaningful support then proceeds to label me as a problem when I start displaying unwanted behaviours so they then either want to get rid of me or my mental health will suffer negatively to the point of depression (which usually involves time off).

Is this a common experience?

In my experience it seems that management just want someone to fit in and don't want to make any effort to even learn the basics about ASC, let alone making changes to prevent mental health issues.

I provide them with the same resource I used when first diagnosed, nothing technical, just the basics from a trusted website.

What else can i possibly do?

Replies

  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,402 Pioneering
    @SpecGZero81 welcome to the forum, I can understand your frustration in getting  support. Are you in work now? Might be worth getting referred to oc health within your work place, who can inform your managers of reasonable adjustments to suit your needs. 
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    Sandy_123 said:
    @SpecGZero81 welcome to the forum, I can understand your frustration in getting  support. Are you in work now? Might be worth getting referred to oc health within your work place, who can inform your managers of reasonable adjustments to suit your needs. 
    Not yet.

    I have a second interview this afternoon for a role so I'll see what happens there.

    There has never been an OC resource at any employer I've worked for, it's always been management I've had to attempt communication with.

    At the company I worked at when I was diagnosed they offered the HR manager as a "sounding board" for when I was in a triggered state but the first time I went to see her in such a state she wasn't very understanding at all and was in fact visibily annoyed, which then triggered me further as I then thought "what was the point of offering me this resource".
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 10,115 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    Employers don't always have the time to research conditions and best support and each person with the condition will be different anyway 

    That is where you come in to explain which I understand you have done in the past 

    As mentioned above oh are the inbetwern resource that can do a work based assessment and recommend adjustments 

    As for the written warning you should have appealed as this is not the way it should be done.  You should be given at least 24 hours notice of a hearing   told what the allegation is and given the right to representation and prior to all this an investigation should have taken place 

    There are some supportive employers out there tend to be the bigger companies who are more diverse and aware and train their staff on disability awareness 

    Good luck with job you have applied for 
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Hi there 

    Employers don't always have the time to research conditions and best support and each person with the condition will be different anyway 

    That is where you come in to explain which I understand you have done in the past 

    As mentioned above oh are the inbetwern resource that can do a work based assessment and recommend adjustments 

    As for the written warning you should have appealed as this is not the way it should be done.  You should be given at least 24 hours notice of a hearing   told what the allegation is and given the right to representation and prior to all this an investigation should have taken place 

    There are some supportive employers out there tend to be the bigger companies who are more diverse and aware and train their staff on disability awareness 

    Good luck with job you have applied for 
    Thanks.

    I am fully aware that they never followed ACAS guidelines as I referred to them (and even included a flowchart taken directly from their website) when writing a letter to my employer outlining exactly how they had failed to meet their responsibilities toward me from a HR perspective.

    It wasn't the first time either.

    They supposedly gave me an official  verbal warning for having a mini-meltdown at a manger that was being completely unreasonable toward me in terms of his expectations during my first couple of weeks there - didn't get a letter for that at all - it was brought up when I was issued my written warning.

    I had considered taking legal action against them (and would have had solid case) but on further consideration felt that the negative impact on my mental health because of having to relive traumatic experiences outweighted any potential benefits and so decided not to persue that particular option.
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Hi there 

    Employers don't always have the time to research conditions and best support and each person with the condition will be different anyway 

    That is where you come in to explain which I understand you have done in the past 

    As mentioned above oh are the inbetwern resource that can do a work based assessment and recommend adjustments 

    As for the written warning you should have appealed as this is not the way it should be done.  You should be given at least 24 hours notice of a hearing   told what the allegation is and given the right to representation and prior to all this an investigation should have taken place 

    There are some supportive employers out there tend to be the bigger companies who are more diverse and aware and train their staff on disability awareness 

    Good luck with job you have applied for 
    Oh and the other reason for not persuing legal action is that I don't want to work there in any case.

    Money based compensation isn't as important as my mental wellbeing.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 10,115 Disability Gamechanger
    I understand that I wasn't referring to legal action just appealing against the decision 8f the warning.  You letter should have had details in about your right to appeal 

    Too late now but fir future ref as that warning will remain on your file and as it us official could be included in a ref to potential employers 
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    I understand that I wasn't referring to legal action just appealing against the decision 8f the warning.  You letter should have had details in about your right to appeal 

    Too late now but fir future ref as that warning will remain on your file and as it us official could be included in a ref to potential employers 
    Wasn't worth the effort tbh.

    At the moment in time they fired me by handing me the letter and going over why,  I just got up and walked out of the room, gave them my company phone, cleared my desk, wished them well and left the building.

    I didn't want to work there anyway and after the series of negative experiences I had during my time there I figured anything I did would make no difference to the situation other than them thinking I'm the bad guy because it's likely I would've had a meltdown and told them exactly what I thought of them, which would then likely result in them refusing to provide a reference.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 10,115 Disability Gamechanger
    Fair enough I am only trying to advise you for the future in case you come across the situation again 

    Good luck seeking new employment 
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Fair enough I am only trying to advise you for the future in case you come across the situation again 

    Good luck seeking new employment 
    Why do you seem defensive?
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 10,115 Disability Gamechanger
    I am not being defensive at all just trying to help you 

    I have over 20 years experience in human resources and employment law so was only trying to help.


  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,603

    Scope community team

    Hello @SpecGZero81

    I'm sorry to read of the experiences you've had in the workplace, I completely understand your frustration. I think anybody who comments on this thread is only trying to help you, including @janer1967, so I'm sorry if anything comes across as defensive. I can assure you it won't have been intended that way.

    The world of work certainly does have a long way to go in terms of being accommodating and inclusive, I always found it easier to apply for companies that had a track record of successfully employing disabled people, or who were signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme (even though that is more of a signifier of good intent, rather than proof of it).

    Have you sought support from anywhere to find and maintain work? 
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  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    I am not being defensive at all just trying to help you 

    I have over 20 years experience in human resources and employment law so was only trying to help.


    I think it was the statement that you're "only" trying to help that I misread.

    Saying the word "only" in that context to me can infer potential defensiveness, which I found a little confusing as I wasn't aware of behaving in a manner that would provoke a defensive response.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 10,115 Disability Gamechanger
    I said ' only ' trying to ADVISE not help 

    Text can come across in the wrong context and easily read in a manner not intended 

    I give my time here to try and help and offer support and experience and knowledge to help others 

    No further comment 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,603

    Scope community team

    I think it was the statement that you're "only" trying to help that I misread.

    Saying the word "only" in that context to me can infer potential defensiveness, which I found a little confusing as I wasn't aware of behaving in a manner that would provoke a defensive response.
    As mentioned by @[email protected], words read through an online written platform don't often convey meaning in the intended way, so I'm sorry if yof you perceived that as being defensive. 

    You didn't behave in a way that would provoke a defensive response, I just think this is a simple misunderstanding and I hope the explanation from Janer has helped to clear things up
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  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    Yeah it's fine.

    I wasn't offended, I was merely confused by perceived defensiveness.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,284 Disability Gamechanger
    What I'm reading here is a scenario that potentially no employer could cope with as the extent to which they would need to adapt, train staff and so on would be so extensive as to mean they would be on relatively solid ground claiming that any reasonable adjustments would not in fact be reasonable given what was required. Very unfortunate but I'm not sure there is an actual answer. 
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    What I'm reading here is a scenario that potentially no employer could cope with as the extent to which they would need to adapt, train staff and so on would be so extensive as to mean they would be on relatively solid ground claiming that any reasonable adjustments would not in fact be reasonable given what was required. Very unfortunate but I'm not sure there is an actual answer. 
    Why would it be extensive?

    Do you know what my requirements are?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,284 Disability Gamechanger
    You have given a detailed anecdotal example above. Based upon that alone and your reaction to the scenario it is hard to see what exactly an employer would put in place. Sorry for being so blunt and I do appreciate it may not be what you want to hear but it's not just employers who have to cut some slack in these scenarios. We all want to live in a world where all aspects of our health are accommodated in the workplace but that cuts both ways. There are standards of behaviour and guidance around dignity at work and disability or ill health isn't exempt from that. 

    You also make it clear this is something you have experienced with more than one employer. Is the only possible conclusion that they are all terrible and don't listen etc. or is it possible to entertain the idea that your expectations of what each of them ought to do to accommodate your needs is simply unrealistic in a work setting? 

    I can't say for sure whether they were paying lip service or not. Some employers do and some certainly don't but sometimes what you sign up for and commit to bears no relationship to the reality and if you're at the point when being interrupted doing one task (and let's face it all tasks are time sensitive to some extent) causes a meltdown then most reasonable people would say that the person on the other end of that, in trying to simplify notify you of something, simply shouldn't have to face that kind of response.
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    edited April 27
    Comment removed by moderator.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,970

    Scope community team

    Closed, pending review.
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  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,565

    Scope community team

    Hi @SpecGZero81,

    This thread will be remaining closed. Personal attacks against other members and poor tone breach our community guidelines.

    As stated earlier in the thread, written words can be easily misinterpreted. Please ensure that all comments and posts remain respectful towards other members, and that any debate remains civil. 
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