Sunday, 10 June 2012

Me and Asperger's - work 2000-2010

In 1999 the office moved from being a small office to a whole floor in another building. This was because the number of students that were being accepted on to the two courses had increased.  And this was when I feel now that my Asperger's (unknown at the time) started to kick in.  Up until then I was used to dealing with a fair number of students, but with a bigger office more students came in to be dealt with.  I thought that I was dealing with the students well, but it turned out that I wasn't.  I didn't know this until we had what was called staff appraisals.  Informal interviews with the team leader about your progress over the year.  It was in these appraisals that two main issues were brought up, time and time again.  They were: my tone of voice with the students and lack of eye contact with students - keep looking at the students when speaking to them.  (Two symptoms of Asperger's I know now).  Each year I said I would try my best to rectify these problems, but each year it was mentioned again. Some students I would speak to OK with, as they were nice people, esp if they were appreciative of our work we did for them.  (I mean giving us presents of biccies, choccies etc).

Then in 2010 when I found out I had failed the interview and had read the articles Mum had read, I had a reason for the above two problems.  After I read them, I took them into work, scanned them into my leader's machine, I will call her M for security reasons, and asked her to read them, taking in mind what had been said by her to me about the problems I had had communicating with students.  She did.  She said that it was possible that I did have Asperger's. 

Now that I have been diagnosed with Asperger's, I am relieved that there was a reason for my attitude towards students, and it wasn't my fault.

That was working with undiagnosed Asperger's and dealing with students.  Next time I might post about working with Asperger's and communicating with staff in the dept.

See you next time.


Cara Cooper said...

Thanks for sharing this Julie. We all need to know more and to understand better. It's always lovely to see you at RNA do's. Congratulations on your writing successes, here's to many more of them.

Julie Day said...

Thanks so much, Cara. Yes, I feel that Asperger's/Autism in adults needs to be understood better, as most people know about it in children.

Nell Dixon said...

That's very true, Julie. People forget that children with health issues grow into adults with health issues.

Lesley Cookman said...

I know you'e posted about this before and I've commented, Julie. I think it's remarkable that you DID cope with life and work with your un-diagnosed condition. It is so much better understood these days that it can be picked up when children are very young. Keep going, girl.