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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team
Bloodheart

Am I doing this right - re unemployment

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I'm unemployed and have been for nearly three years.

 

Along with the general idiocy that comes from the job centre staff/the government...you know where they make it harder for you to find work and generally make you suicidal...they have gone most of these three years making me apply for call centre jobs, despite the fact I've informed them time and time again that I struggle using a phone. The longer I've been out of work the worst I've become to the point where talking on a phone is close to impossible for me, now it's not just not knowing how to talk on the phone, I'm now also highly anxious about phone conversations...and the job centre are making it all the worse by being so frustrating/useless/ignorant/stupid/offensive/patronising/insulting/etc.

 

Last advisor I saw in August and I made the mistake of informing her I had [suspected] Asperger's - at first all seemed well, a disability advisor was mentioned, however she turned...she informed me that she thought I am "mentally incapable of working" and changed my job seekers agreement to be all the more difficult for me to follow and they were going to be stricter with me, she made it clear that she was going to get me kicked off JSA so my only option was to apply for ESA. I had a meltdown (crying), now all the job centre staff look at me like I'm simple.

 

So I apply for ESA and get declined - the medical assessment was a big joke and the nurse didn't seem to note anything down so I got zero points - no one informed me about what ESA even is, I thought it was just for people who cannot work so didn't want to be on it because I thought it would mean less chance of my getting help back into work, but since then people have told me otherwise. Should I be on ESA??

 

I think it's too late to appeal now, so I've re-applied for JSA now and had my first appointment at the job centre today, it went okay but now I'm being told I have to apply for check-out jobs...I don't even know how to apply for that sort of job, and I'm slightly offended that they think this is all I'm capable of doing. I have asked to see a disability advisor, but I'm not sure what to do in the mean time.

 

I went to CAB, but they didn't seem to get what I was talking about...

 

A. If they deemed me unable to work in the past won't they try doing it all over again, I mean they were going to try to force me off JSA or use the fact I can't do X, Y, and Z against me to imply I'm not trying to find work, how do I protect myself from that? Do I really just have to wait until they kick me off, then appeal or is there something I can do before it gets to that point and stresses me out even more?

 

B. How can I avoid going back to the adviser I saw in August? As far as I'm concerned I should NOT NOT NOT have to deal with her again, she was so ignorant and prejudice as to deem me "mentally incapable" due to having Asperger's and if she thinks this way it also then means she's obviously going to be no good helping me find work. I got the advisers name when I went into the job centre today, should I write a complaint and ask not to be booked in to see her again, if so what should I say? If they do make me see that adviser do I have the right to refuse, and how do I do that?

 

Any advice?

I don't seem to be able to get any advice on this from anywhere :(

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trekster   

hello

 

http://www.autism.org.uk/en-gb/get-involved/volunteer/find-or-form-an-nas-branch-in-your-area.aspx

 

...is a link to find your local NAS branch, they vary in how good they are, mine is great and im their minutes secretary.

 

http://www.dontwritemeoff.org.uk/ is the campaign for adults on the spectrum who are trying to find work.

 

http://www.autism.org.uk/en-gb/living-with-autism/benefits-and-community-care/care-and-benefits-for-adults-with-an-asd/employment-and-support-allowance.aspx

 

...is the link to ESA on the National Autistic Society website.

 

Good luck.

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Tally   

If you're unemployed and capable of working, then you should be applying for all jobs you think you can do. Checkout work would surely be a step up from unemployment. If you think you can do a better job than this, then I think the Job Centre would be justified in wondering why you have not done so already. Even if checkout work did not lead to promotion to a better job within the same company, simply having a job and some experience on your CV would look good in applying for jobs in the future.

 

Being on ESA is not a barrier to finding work. You may even get some help in finding appropriate work, rather than pressured to apply for jobs you cannot manage. Sometimes you can even take on voluntary work or even part time paid employment without losing your benefit. It could be much better than being on Job Seekers, which might be why the CAB were so confused about what you wanted.

 

Your best bet might be to take advice on applying for ESA and see if you can get that instead.

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Do you think you are capable of working? My impression is that you at least hope you are, but your DEA isn't so sure. However, the message you have given here is a bit confusing: first you said the DEA said you were "mentally incapable" (whatever that means - incapable of what?), then that they were going to be stricter with you and then that your DEA wanted you "kicked off" JSA. Because they thought you weren't able to work, or because they thought you weren't trying?

 

There are two kinds of ESA: the Support Group, for people who can't work at all, and the Work Related Activities Group for people who's working ability is limited in some way because they have an illness or disability. I hope you're seeking a diagnosis for Asbergers - there's a long waiting list so if you're not, the sooner you put yourself on the list the better. To get ESA you also have to have some kind of medical backup - does your GP agree you are probably AS?

 

You may have heard of a report published recently strongly criticising the way ESA claims are processed - 40% of people appeal against the decision made, and there have been a lot of complaints about the way clients are treated. But the Government have said they agree the system is bad and have promised to reform it. I think ESA would be more appropriate for you than JSA, because if you're on JSA they assume you're just an ordinary job seeker who doesn't need any special help. Difficulty getting work is a very common problem for autistic people.

 

One other piece of advice I will give you: don't take what is said to you so personally. As I said, I'm not sure what your DEA meant when she said you were "mentally incapable", but I'm sure it wasn't meant as a personal insult. Some DEAs know what autism is and what kind of help autistic people need; others don't. It's not clear whether your DEA knows about autism or not. Either way, make sure you know what you want, articulate it clearly, and try to avoid getting emotional - it puts across a very negative message.

 

Also, do you know, or have some idea, of what kind of work you could do? That's another very commmon problem with autistic people, but if you're applying for jobs you have to know, otherwise the Job Centre will keep trying to get you to apply for unsuitable work.

 

 

Hope all this helps.

Edited by Eccentric

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Sorry, I didn't notice your 'Who has gone through the adult diagnosis' post. So you are seeking a diagnosis - good. So am I, incidently, and be warned, the waiting list is long.

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I think I am capable of working.

 

I don't have a DEA - the person in question was just a bog-standard adviser at the job centre, she said I was mentally incapable of working because of being an Aspie and thus was going to try to get me off JSA because I was a. mentally incapable of working and b. I wasn't following the job seekers agreement they put me on because I wasn't able to do call centre jobs or call agencies. It was part them thinking I was not capable, and partly them thinking I wasn't trying by not calling agencies...not understanding it's not just that I can't be bothered.

 

I have applied for ESA but was refused - I got zero points on the medical assessment, I should have at least gotten some points on the mental side of the assessment - it's a joke as seemingly to get the points you need to qualify you need to be both seriously physically and mentally disabled, seemingly there is no place for autistic/asperger's people on ESA. CAB were saying most people appeal the decision about ESA, but I was the only one they knew who didn't want to be on ESA - truthfully ESA would be better, but I think my problem is that no one ever told me what ESA was, I was under the impression if I go onto ESA I get no support to get back into work at all.

 

I have no idea AT ALL about what jobs I can do.

I am unskilled/unqualified (unfortunately) so I would just go for any old job in the past, I have landed on my feet a few times, but because I've been unemployed for so long my problems have been seriously amplified so I'm not sure what I'm capable of doing...I know once I'm in work it'll improve again, I settle in and I can do pretty much anything - that includes using a phone, as long as I know exactly what to say it's okay...but my concern is if I say for example go to a job where I'm not comfortable or where I have to use a phone I'm going to have a meltdown. I was forced onto work trial last year with a really dodgy company and I had a really bad metldown, and was asked not to come back (the 'manager' lied about what happened to imply I had walked out and hadn't tried)...so my fear is if I do go into a real job this may happen again. Although I will point out I had another work trial as admin and trainer for a company that trained unemployed people in a trade and taught them how to find work, I was VERY good at that and really enjoyed it...but then admin work usually means ability to use a phone -_-

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Jannih   

Unfortunately there are those people who are incapable of work but cannot get ESA either and it easy for them to fall through the system.

 

It's good that you are going for a diagnosis.

 

Contact NAS about finding a support worker who could go with you, when you sign on.

 

Ask to be referred to the DEA. If you have a phone phobia, they should not be "forcing" you into call centre work.

Re. Joseekers Agreement. Think about your skills and the things that you enjoy such has hobbies. Think how you can then transfer those skills/ hobbies to a job. You might, say, enjoy amateur photography, then you could put photographer on your JSag.

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by Jannih

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chris54   

I am a bit confused, You say you are unskilled and unqualified yet you object to the suggestion that you should do shop work. I think there are a lot of shop workers who will find that rather insulting. Having been unemployed for 3 years doesn't that tell you something. IMO you should be applying for ever job there is like the rest of us do/have done.

If you have been turned down for ESA, they obviously agree with you that you are capable of working.

Without any experience you will, I am afraid, have to accept that you will start at the bottom of the pile and have to work your way up. If you dont like the idea of using/cannot use the phone then that very much rules out a lot of office jobs, what about manual work, factory or building work, Farm work. The list goes on.

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bid   

I am a bit confused, You say you are unskilled and unqualified yet you object to the suggestion that you should do shop work. I think there are a lot of shop workers who will find that rather insulting.

 

Well indeed! My adult son has AS. He started out with a part-time job in a supermarket stacking shelves. He worked hard, started full-time, did all the over-time going and has ended up as a store supervisor, next step management training.

 

I simply don't understand this thing about some jobs not being 'good enough'.

 

All honest work is respectable and worthwhile IMO!

 

Bid :)

Edited by bid

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Hi

 

I don't want to sound critical but during the three years you have been out of work what have you done to improve your prospects? Have you applied for jobs? In out area we have an organisation called Starting Point who help with CV's Interview practice etc

 

Have you tried voluntary work? Short college courses to give you an idea of future direction.If you have any skills IT etc could you not become self employed?

 

I find your attitude towards shop work quite offensive. My husband has worked as a warehouse superviser all his life after being made redundant last year he now works as a shelf stacker. Its never been his life's ambition to stack shelves but whilst times are hard he holds his head up high because he is putting a roof over his families head.

 

Good Luck

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Boy   

People with autism can and do get ESA. I was on ESA myself, due to my limited capability for work (due to my autism). I now work full time because I was lucky enough to get into a job. Knowing full well I have no physical hindrances to working they completely left out that part of the assessment and just focused on the relevant aspects. Through getting ESA I was also given an advisor who offered me training (although I never ended up doing any as I started to work enough hours to mean I no longer needed to be on ESA) and other support - that support is still there to help me stay in work (if I have problems at work I can speak to my advisor and he will, to the best of his ability try to sort it out for me).

 

If you didn't get ESA they must consider you fully capable of work and best left on Jobseekers, even if the other woman was trying to get you moved onto ESA (or perhaps kicked off of Jobseekers due to feeling you weren't trying hard enough to find a job).

 

It sounds from your posts that you have been capable of using the phone in the past, and that you feel that with enough practise and a 'script' you would be capable of using the phone again. You could ask for some training in this area, or perhaps dive into a job that allows you to use a script when using the phone so that you don't have to worry about what to say. Or any other number of jobs that won't necessarily involve using the phone. A shop job, as people have said, will at least allow you to make some money for yourself and, even if you don't desire a career in that area. When applying for jobs I have heard that large 'gaps' in your working history can look bad to the prospective employer, and if you already have a job there's nothing to stop you from applying for other jobs that you think you would prefer. You also gain skills from doing any job, which can then be applied to other jobs/situations. Working in shops can be extremely challenging, so there is nothing offensive about someone suggesting that that is what you should be applying for. It just so happens that those jobs don't require specific qualifications, and due to the nature of the job they quite often hire (some people work in shops whilst studying at uni, for example, so staff turnover can be high) and so are the most obvious areas for you to apply.

 

If there genuinely has been some mistake and you are meant to be on ESA, if you reapply and get put into the work related group you can get lots of help and support with finding a job (even if it means practising interviews or phonecalls with someone). In fact, you may find that if you ask at the Jobcentre, they may refer you to a company that does that sort of thing (for example, I was referred to Reed in Partnership via the Jobcentre, due to my receiving ESA).

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Boy   

*lucky enough to get into a job that I am capable of because the circumstances are quite precise (lots of extra support because my mum works there and helps with communication difficulties, and I have a good bond with the SEN kids I work with, and the rest of the kids, really).

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justine1   

I have to agree with Bid and Chris really,if you say you were willing to take anything then what has changed in the three years to make you not want to take a job in a shop? I know you say you have had a bad experience with a manager but many people dont get along with their managers but still have to go in to work everyday.

 

I have two brothers who both have disabilities.One had a stroke at the age of 23,he is physically disabled but also has speech problems and due to the fact his right side is affected he cannot write or type without assistance,he also has epilepsy.He has worked every year since two years after his last stroke(he has had three in total) he worked as a cleaner and then trained in childcare and is working as an after school assistant whilst training to be a teaching assistant.It most definatley is not easy for him,especially as he has a family to care for as well.

 

My other brother also has epilepsy and Bipolar disorder,he gets angry easily and doesnt like to be told what to do,is moods fluctuate very easily as well, he had a very good career abroad but due to is condition things went wrong and he came to the UK.After just two weeks of being here he had a job( this was about 2 months ago ,when people claim there are no jobs!) he is working at a shop and he doesnt like it much but he is punctual and takes on extra shifts when he can.He has to work as he cannot even claim benefits.

 

My sister in law is a qualified physiontherapist,although she has no disability, she came to the UK(13 years ago) and she was unable to work as a physio as she needed a PIN number to practice here,she had to work two jobs in a shop and as a cleaner.She definatley was over skilled to do this and she had never worked in these jobs before but she did it because she had to.

 

Sorry to go on,its just I think if you serious about working you will find work.You may need support in doing so but after three years I think you need to push hard and prove you want to work by taking what they offer.

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westie   

Hi what about trying some voluntary work to get a better idea of what you like, and gain some skills to help you get a paid job? Search on google for 'voluntary action' and the name of the place you live to see if there is a service like this in your area, or ask at the job centre, as I am sure they would think it is a positive step you could take alongside still looking for employment.

I do a number of voluntary roles and through these have gained a lot of experiences that will help me hopefully gain a job in the future. The roles could be outdoors types, shop work, working in schools or a childrens centre, with young people (though you will have to have CRB etc for most roles and provide a ref. I am sure that the job centre or similar will help with this).

 

Also there are lots of ways to study and get skills to help your job search, check out WEA they offer adult community courses for a variety of things I did two of their courses: 'helping in schools' and 'helping in schools with SEN' and got two qualifications and some experience as you have to do a placement in a local school for 20hrs to pass. There is a search facility you enter your postcode and it will tell you all that are happening in your area.

 

www.wea.org.uk

 

and also microsoft do online courses to help develop skills using their packages like word, powerpoint and excel. I will try and add a link later (my computer keeps playing up I have typed variations on this message about 4 times now and lost it when I have tried to open another tab to copy a link to this message!)

 

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/training-default.aspx

 

link to microsoft learning programmes, you can search for programmes in your area. edited to included this link!

 

Good luck with your search

Edited by westie

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I don't want to sound critical but during the three years you have been out of work what have you done to improve your prospects?

I find your attitude towards shop work quite offensive.

 

you don't want to sound critical and you're offended? try and get a sense of proportion.

I can understand this person not wanting to work in a shop I have when I was younger and it made me 1000 times worse, I got threatened with knives and stuff alot when people came in to steal from us.

 

the fact is I had these problems with people saying "You should just get whatever job going" and I did and it wrecked me because people don't think you have an illness they just think we are ###### because of the way we talk and the things we say etc. not to mention the fact that unlike NT people when someone says something bad about us it stays in our heads as clear as the moment it was said forever so we avoid situations where those things can happen, I just think it is so easy for you people to be critical and point out shortcomings without realizing we have to live with the intensity it leaves behind so yeah I can relate to what the OP said about the manager/adviser.

 

my piece of advice to the OP is this, these days I have given up trying to explain my illness to people in official positions so I tell them that certain things are against a religious belief of some sort, they never argue with that and if they ask what it is you can say "it is against the law to discriminate against my belief system and I reserve the right to withhold the identity of said religion"

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bid   

you don't want to sound critical and you're offended? try and get a sense of proportion.

I can understand this person not wanting to work in a shop I have when I was younger and it made me 1000 times worse, I got threatened with knives and stuff alot when people came in to steal from us.

 

the fact is I had these problems with people saying "You should just get whatever job going" and I did and it wrecked me because people don't think you have an illness they just think we are ###### because of the way we talk and the things we say etc. not to mention the fact that unlike NT people when someone says something bad about us it stays in our heads as clear as the moment it was said forever so we avoid situations where those things can happen, I just think it is so easy for you people to be critical and point out shortcomings without realizing we have to live with the intensity it leaves behind so yeah I can relate to what the OP said about the manager/adviser.

 

my piece of advice to the OP is this, these days I have given up trying to explain my illness to people in official positions so I tell them that certain things are against a religious belief of some sort, they never argue with that and if they ask what it is you can say "it is against the law to discriminate against my belief system and I reserve the right to withhold the identity of said religion"

 

 

I have expressed my opinion in this thread, and I have a formal dx of AS, as does my adult son, who also has ADHD and Dyspraxia, and went to a residential special school...and has made a very successful career working in a shop!

 

Everyone with ASD is different. I too work full-time, and apart from part-time when my son was a baby and then a break of 12 years as his primary carer, I always have done.

 

I think the objection people are making (including myself) is the idea expressed by the OP that working in a shop is somehow not 'good enough'. That is what people have found rather offensive.

 

Bid :)

Edited by bid

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but if he feels it's not good enough thats upto him isn't it. people get offended far too easily these days, this guy is worried about his life and all people can do is tell him how offended they feel at something he has said, and this is exactly what we get all the time, people taking what we say the wrong way because they don't understand how we mean to say something, I just think that of all places a forum on Aspergers should demonstrate abit more leniency on how we say things.

 

mumble, yes it is an illness - I'm sorry but I classify something that affects myself in a negative way as an illness, not a part of who I am and I am definitely not proud of it. any friendship I make or any relationship I have usually ends because of it, I like the OP can't use phones because of it and many other things that NT's take for granted are hindered by it. so as far as I am concerned it is an illness and I very much suspect that the person who named it a "disorder" felt the same way

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justine1   

but if he feels it's not good enough thats upto him isn't it. people get offended far too easily these days, this guy is worried about his life and all people can do is tell him how offended they feel at something he has said, and this is exactly what we get all the time, people taking what we say the wrong way because they don't understand how we mean to say something, I just think that of all places a forum on Aspergers should demonstrate abit more leniency on how we say things.

 

mumble, yes it is an illness - I'm sorry but I classify something that affects myself in a negative way as an illness, not a part of who I am and I am definitely not proud of it. any friendship I make or any relationship I have usually ends because of it, I like the OP can't use phones because of it and many other things that NT's take for granted are hindered by it. so as far as I am concerned it is an illness and I very much suspect that the person who named it a "disorder" felt the same way

I think the point is that the OP clearly said they felt "offended" that the staff at job centre offered a job in a shop, what I am saying (and maybe others agree) is that what is wrong with working in a shop? The OP says they have no qualifications so what I am saying is that the OP has to start somewhere and if its in a shop then so be it.If they don't start somewhere they are likely to be stuck on benefits.

 

Surely working is better than being on benefits? I think it is,it gives a sense of purpose and many people can overcome difficulties, such as using the phone,when they are in work.

 

I agree that training/courses may be the best way forward, but sitting back and waiting for a "suitable" job to come along may not be what is best IMO.

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bid   

but if he feels it's not good enough thats upto him isn't it. people get offended far too easily these days, this guy is worried about his life and all people can do is tell him how offended they feel at something he has said, and this is exactly what we get all the time, people taking what we say the wrong way because they don't understand how we mean to say something, I just think that of all places a forum on Aspergers should demonstrate abit more leniency on how we say things.

 

mumble, yes it is an illness - I'm sorry but I classify something that affects myself in a negative way as an illness, not a part of who I am and I am definitely not proud of it. any friendship I make or any relationship I have usually ends because of it, I like the OP can't use phones because of it and many other things that NT's take for granted are hindered by it. so as far as I am concerned it is an illness and I very much suspect that the person who named it a "disorder" felt the same way

 

You keep saying 'we'...well, I have a dx of AS and I have very different opinions from you..

 

Bid :)

Edited by bid

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chris54   

In the OP it states that they were Slightly Offended at the suggestion of shop work, that they were capable of more. Not that they were in some way unable to do the work.

They say that they are capable of work, but have been unemployed for 3 years. I would ask the question, what sort of work do you feel you could do, have you been applying for, is it realistic to think that you could go into them jobs without any experience. That maybe you need to lower your sights.

If for whatever reason you dont get on with work colleagues, try a job were you work on your own a lot of the time.

A few suggestions; Meter reader, road sweeper, Night watchman, Postman.

As jobs once again get scarce it will only get harder to find that dream job.

P.S.

Sorry if the way I express myself is sometime misunderstood or found offensive, a problem many of us have.

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Let me set this straight;

 

There is NOTHING WRONG WITH SHOP WORK.

 

The reason for being offended is that this is all they think I'm capable of because I have asperger's - in my previous jobs I consistently outperformed my work-mates, I have managerial experience, and prior to my informing them about having asperger's syndrome the job centre staff were encouraging me to become a specialist nurse - I'm sorry but the fact is that check-out work may still be work, but not held in as high regards as nursing.

 

I am willing to work any type of work I am capable of doing and am all too painfully aware that I have to start from the bottom again, hell I would actually be pretty darn happy with a cleaning job or would actually love to work in a card shop - it appeals to the OCD. I have been applying for work, as much as I can when I don't know what to apply for or how to apply. This doesn't magic away the fact that I struggle and with no support I get no where, it doesn't change the fact that I can't answer the phone if someone calls to set-up an interview, that at some point contact has to be made with agencies or employers and that's where I fall short.

 

Unemployment is soul destroying for anyone, for me (and I'm guessing a lot of others like me) suddenly have ZERO social contact on top of everything else makes it a little harder every day that passes - this is crushing me, I just want some help and I don't think I should have my willingness or ability to work questioned. I am not struggling to find work because I can't be bothered, I struggle because I have asperger's. Being as this is an ASD forum I would have thought more members would understand that and offer support not the same criticism I get from job centre staff.

 

I was on a few part-time college courses; BSL and ECDL - not knowing what jobs to apply for I didn't know what courses to do either, so went for one course I had been trying to get onto for four years (BSL - which I loved) and one to cement proof of my IT skills (I worked in IT, but tought having something formal on my CV might be beneficial). However I was put onto New Deal so had to leave my college courses to go sit in a room full of charvers for 13 weeks where they stopped us applying for work. I've not been able to get back on a new course due to inability to use a phone to apply for courses, and my partner works so he's not always able to go into college with me to help me apply in person.

 

I have also attempted to get volunteer jobs, but the job centre have kept telling me not to because I would have been put onto some other pointless course such as New Deal - I'll admit I haven't put much into this, days turn into months, other struggles get in the way, then fear of change hits. I'm currently attempting to get a voluntary position, but then AGAIN asperger's still causes problems that do make it difficult...the process for finding volunteer work not that different from finding paid full-time work.

 

I used to work for Positive People Development (a program that worked with job centre to help long-term unemployed back into work - the irony of this isn't lost on me) and Hands On Training (training unemployed in trades like plumbing and helping them find paid work) so I know how to write CV's, cover letters, interview technique etc.

 

Also, I would have thought others would have understood the outrage and offence I felt at being told I'm 'mentally incapable' of working - do you believe all people with asperger's are incapable of working, that we are all mentally deficient? If not then why are you not as outraged as me at what I was told? Surely this is what projects like 'Don't Write Me Off' talk about. If you are then reply to this post with advice on how to deal with the problem, not criticism that I shouldn't be so sensitive about prejudice.

Edited by Bloodheart

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justine1   

Hi

 

I hope this won't be offensive or critical then. Okay I think if you really want a higher paid job then the only way forward is through studying furthur,as mentioned above, this is the best advice I can give. I may not have aspergers but I have four kids,which is dibilitating in that I can't do what I please when I please,it puts alot of limits on me. However,I studied hard through open university for 2 years to get onto a Nursing course(its a three year University course,just so you know). I was on benefits throughout this time,my youngest was just 4 months old, I told them what I was doing and they were satisfied with that. With the course you can print of your results as you going along,so you can take it along to the job centre to show them,any person in their right mind will accept you are trying to get yourself out of that situation.

 

I struggle everyday to get to uni,I have two children with autsim and have to juggle childcare.Sam has had two different childminders as his behaviour is bad,we had to move so I can get some help from family but thats not happening.Everyday I worry I may have to quit but I push on.I know at the end of it I will be qualified and can provide for my children.Being on a nursing course means I am no longer on benefits anyway,I am on a bursary (student loans for degree students) so that in itself is a positive.

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bid   

I'm honestly not trying to be offensive or critical, I'm just going by what you have written above.

 

First of all, I think you have said elsewhere that you don't have a dx of AS yet, so I'm not sure how the Job Centre staff are meant to be able to help you? If you don't have a dx report, how can they provide appropriate support if they have nothing to base this upon? It may not seem fair to you, but unfortunately no one will accept a self-diagnosis. Edited to add: Just re-read your old posts, and see that you have been referred to a specialist diagnostic team. Unfortunately I still think it will be the case that until you have a definite dx it will be very difficult to get appropriate support.

 

Then in your last post, you say

The reason for being offended is that this is all they think I'm capable of because I have asperger's - in my previous jobs I consistently outperformed my work-mates, I have managerial experience, and prior to my informing them about having asperger's syndrome the job centre staff were encouraging me to become a specialist nurse - I'm sorry but the fact is that check-out work may still be work, but not held in as high regards as nursing.

 

But then you say

I am willing to work any type of work I am capable of doing and am all too painfully aware that I have to start from the bottom again, hell I would actually be pretty darn happy with a cleaning job

 

I'm not trying to offend, but to me these two statements seem to contradict each other? I think you either have to accept something that you don't feel is necessarily 'suitable', and then develop your career from there, or you have to think about re-training as Justine suggests.

 

Best of luck...I can appreciate how frustrating your situation must feel >:D<<'>

 

Bid :)

Edited by bid

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Mumble   

mumble, yes it is an illness - I'm sorry but I classify something that affects myself in a negative way as an illness, not a part of who I am and I am definitely not proud of it. any friendship I make or any relationship I have usually ends because of it

ASD is a pervasive developmental disorder not an illness in medical terminology. Illness, to me, implies something that can be treated (medically and wholly) which ASD can't be.

 

Unemployment is soul destroying for anyone, for me (and I'm guessing a lot of others like me) suddenly have ZERO social contact on top of everything else makes it a little harder every day that passes - this is crushing me, I just want some help and I don't think I should have my willingness or ability to work questioned.

Your two issues seem to be a need for social contact and a need to prove what you can do. Would it not be possible / sensible to take the shop work or whatever else is offered as this would give social contact, would give some structure and purpose to your day and would give you the opportunity to show what you can do?

 

You could think about it in terms of developing generic transferable skills, all of which will make your CV far more appealing than 'unemployed'. I suspect you could even use it to your advantage in future job applications, talking about what you learnt from working in a position that wasn't your first choice - you could talk about things like seizing opportunities, being prepared to try new things, working with people you wouldn't normally work with and hence developing social communication skills - all would show willingness and keenness and provide evidence of what you can do. You could still continue to apply for jobs you would rather be doing whilst doing other work. I think in the current economic climate, we all have to accept that though we might have a dream job / salary (and there's nothing wrong with dreaming and working on that dream provided you still can continue to support yourself) but have to accept, as many here have said, that something is better than nothing. My sister's partner is an astro-physicist (really, she says she has standards!! :lol::wub:) but he hasn't been able to get a space-walking / shuttle-driving (what jobs do they do?? :huh:) job and is currently doing shop-work so he can support himself whilst applying for other positions - and in those applications he uses the shop work to highlight skills he's developed that make him more rounded than the typical astrophysicist and therefore potentially more employable.

 

I have also attempted to get volunteer jobs, but the job centre have kept telling me not to because I would have been put onto some other pointless course such as New Deal - I'll admit I haven't put much into this, days turn into months, other struggles get in the way, then fear of change hits. I'm currently attempting to get a voluntary position, but then AGAIN asperger's still causes problems that do make it difficult...the process for finding volunteer work not that different from finding paid full-time work.

I don't know what the position with the job-centre is as I haven't been in the same position, but I'm sure if you wanted to do some voluntary work you could find a way, even if it was only a few hours at the weekend or one evening a week, or there are even computer based opportunities. I wonder if the problem is more related to anxiety / fear in which case maybe you do need to push yourself or seek some help here. Doing voluntary work has been one of the best things for me and yes, it was scary at first, but I now feel there's a group of people I belong to and that's not something I would give up easily. I disagree about the processes being the same, and you may find speculative enquiries (find someone you would like to volunteer with and identify how you could help them, then email / write to them). Many people are desperate for volunteers so are only too willing to receive such enquiries. But you will need to put that initial effort in; people can't give you jobs or volunteering opportunities if they don't know you're looking. :D

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Hello all, this is my first post on this forum.

 

I have not worked for '8' years and would love to get back to work. I have AS, dyspraxia, dyslexia, PTSD (mild now) and chronic pain. I have never been in a position to understand the emotions connected to PTSD and chronic pain, as they bring up things that I have never had to deal with before, which ended up destroying my focus and therefore my coping mechanisms for my other conditions, which made me have to stop work due to being completely burnt out.

 

My whole 8 years since stopping work has been fighting the system, so has completely drained my energy, bit by bit, until now it has affected my physical health. When you have not been in work for a while then it becomes very stressful to try and enter it again and the whole process has many ellements that are very hard. My stress levels are extremely high, and some things that might feel trivial for some would tip me over the edge, such as telephones and travel and someone pushing me with their perceptions of what I might be able to achieve. I would need a great deal of help and understanding now in work (the right kind of help), which is hard to get in my area, even in voluntary work.

 

I have been doing some voluntary work over the last 2 years, such as a meeting every 8 weeks, helping a family with their autistic son for 3 months. I also helped with a dance group in the summer and will do that again this summer. I also did some voluntary work over christmas, three full days over the two week period. I ended up quite severely physically unwell, which was very frustrating and causes me upset as I would love to work, which is why I am trying things out, trying to learn about what works and what doesn't, the hard way. I am desperate to get my life back. :tearful:

 

I am starting more voluntary work at the end of january that is once every two weeks, so hope this will provide me some consistency to be able to build up my immune system and reduce stress reactions, which seems to have been destroyed by 8 years of the constant stress levels and out of an environment that works for me. :pray:

 

What I think I am trying to get at is that we all are individuals that have differing challenges and differing needs and experiences. What is right for one will not be for another. I would like to be able to work constantly for 2 days a week first and then build up to be able to do more. I am trying hard to get there, but no one would know my battle and realise it is a very severe battle for me just by looking at me, because I keep it to myself and I look quite calm (I am completely isolated other than my voluntary attempts).

 

I think it might be good for the OP to try some voluntary work in a field that you like that might bring more opportunities and also to build up some self esteem. it will also show them at the job centre that you can take on challenging jobs, which I think is what you meant, rather than being offensive about shop work. I personally, at present would like anything that I could get that I would be able to do consistently for at least 2 days a week without becoming unwell, anything that pays me so I can live independantly.

 

I never read the OP as being offensive, and they are asking for help to find out if they are doing it right. Personally, even though I have been a manager, an NVQ assessor and also an adviser, I would never feel confident anymore to do those kind of jobs, but I feel perhaps that is what differs between us in our levels of ability, I think you want to do something more challenging and I think you should go with what you would be happy with. I personally would be very happy with stacking shelves if my immune system would be able to manage it. Anyone know of a job going that will be very patient and allow me to build up slowly, let me know? :rolleyes:

 

Nice to talk to you all and Happy New Year :party:

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This is somewhat frustrating...

Either I'm not explaining myself correctly or people aren't reading what I am writing.

 

bid - I don't see how these two comments contradict each other; shop work isn't the best job in the world, but I'll take anything. I'm not sure what you mean by something I feel as not being suitable, any job I can get is suitable.

 

Mumble - I AM applying for shop work, as well as any other positions I can, and I AM applying for voluntary work. You seem to be of the impression that I am putting no effort into finding work, voluntary work or training, which is not the case and I don't need to be told the importance of finding work pointed out to me. Thank you.

 

I would appreciate it if people would only reply if they have something helpful regarding the initial post - what to do about prejudice with job centre staff.

Otherwise I would ask you do not reply.

Edited by Bloodheart

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Your question about what to do about job centre staff.

 

Just to make you aware, there is now the autism bill, and also government guidelines are now in place that state statutory agency staff must receive training how to manage the needs of people with autism.

 

There is a campaign at the moment via NAS, which has compiled a standard letter with an area within it that you can put how it would personally help you for staff to be trained (along with the rest of the guidelines). When I sent it to my local authority I did get a response saying that they are going to get back to me to inform me how they plan to introduce the legal requirements to improve my/our ability to get back to work, which was what I emphasised within the letter.

 

I know how very frustrating it is not being in work and not being able to express our needs and being judged for 'their' lack of understanding. If you take part in the campaign (if you haven't done already) then this will eventually give you some grounding, from bringing this legal requirement to their attention, which should ensure that staff are trained to accommodate your needs. You will need to give them some time to respond, due that this will be something each local authority will have to discuss and some planning and a strategy will need to be developed. It is a 'legal' requirement, so this must be accommodated, even within such difficult times.

 

Do you have advocacy in your area that could help you to communicate, especially if nothing changes? I have used advocacy before that did go with me to an incapacity assessment. They might be able to go with you to the job centre to help ensure your needs are accommodated and if it does not improve then they may be able to help you with the complaints process. there is also the citizen's advice beuro (sorry can't spell it:oops:)

 

This is just a few of options for you to think about. I hope my post makes sense, due to my own communication difficulties. It is entirely up to you how you choose to use the information we provide here. People on here are trying to help. It might not be the right answer for you right now, but it is via our own experiences. We are not experts in your own needs, we are only expert in our own experiences, which you might find similar so could help, but might not. It is about us attempting to brainstorm topics to see if something might work for you, but might take a little time to find what works for you. I hope you will find the answers you need soon.

 

I wish you well

 

DB x

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anewman   

There's no point saying you have suspected Aspergers, just say you have Aspergers. You don't get a certificate from the doctor to prove you have Aspergers and I have never been asked for one.

 

I am in much the same position as you, although do have qualifications - sadly none of them seem any help in getting me a job. I have been to see a DEA at the Jobcentre and I feel they are somewhat useless, sadly, if well intentioned. They gave me a voluntary position to "assess my needs" and to be honest I don't think it has really done that well, all the feedback reports say is no problems etc - I could have told them that there would be no problems. Plus they said there might be some way for me to be given a part time job. To be honest a part time job is not likely to be of much benefit as I suspect my earnings would merely come out of my Girlfriend's Working Tax Credits. What I really want is a full time job, and the barrier is my Asperger Syndrome which means I have had difficulty getting jobs and so consequently no work history, and where I do get an interview it goes so poorly that noone is interested in hiring me. I really want to be handed a job without the need for interview so I can just prove myself. I feel the DEA is holding me back and discriminating against me as much as the employers are, all I want and need is a full time job that pays at least minimum wage.

 

I can understand concerns regarding call centres and checkouts at supermarkets, where certain difficulties in social skills may be brought to the fore. To be honest many supermarkets these days do group interviews where you perform group tasks and the recruiters observe. For me that would be extremely challenging to deal with, and the chance of getting a job off the back of that would be zero anyway.

 

@Justine1 I hope for your son's benefit that things in the employment world improve by the time they're looking for work. It is pretty ###### out there at the moment, people want the best of the best for a job, and there are over 100 people applying for every job out there. Someone with Aspergers will drop to the bottom of the pile every time if they have not mastered how to appear NT particularly well.

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DameBeverage, thank you for the information.

 

What do you mean by advocacy?

 

The Autism Bill...that might be helpful to keep in mind. I'm considering writing something to the job centre as a gentle nudge to say how I was treat was not helpful and as a pre-emptive strike against the job centre forcing me off JSA based on the false assumption that I am not actively looking for work because of the restrictions asperger's puts on me. It's the only thing I can think of to try, past just sitting and taking it, then having to go through being kicked off JSA again, appealing, risk the appeal not going through, etc. Although god knows I have no idea how to write such a letter, but mentioning the autism bill may at least suggest to them that this is something that have to consider and cover my back.

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anewman   

Being on ESA may get you more money and access to more support in finding work, so I would aim to be on ESA as opposed to JSA if at all possible. The whole system is a shambles to be honest and finds it difficult to deal with people on the autistic spectrum properly.

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bid   

There's no point saying you have suspected Aspergers, just say you have Aspergers. You don't get a certificate from the doctor to prove you have Aspergers and I have never been asked for one.

 

 

I'm sorry, but I think this is really wrong!!

 

After a proper assessment you are given a diagnostic report.

 

I'm sorry to say this, but I think it's wrong and irresponsible to encourage people to be untruthful about something as serious as an ASD dx. It undermines the position of those people who have a genuine dx, and will do nothing to further acceptance and understanding of ASD. How can you expect reasonable adjustment because of a disability from organisations such as the Job Centre while you advocate 'just saying' that you have something as serious as an ASD?

 

I'm really shocked by this.

 

Bid :(

Edited by bid

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Mumble   

I'm sorry, but I think this is really wrong!!

 

After a proper assessment you are given a diagnostic report.

 

I'm sorry to say this, but I think it's wrong and irresponsible to encourage people to be untruthful about something as serious as an ASD dx. It undermines the position of those people who have a genuine dx, and will do nothing to further acceptance and understanding of ASD. How can you expect reasonable adjustment because of a disability from organisations such as the Job Centre while you advocate 'just saying' that you have something as serious as an ASD?

 

I'm really shocked by this.

 

Bid :(

I agree completely and am quite shocked and a little angry and upset by the suggestion made. You wouldn't (I hope) 'just say' you have other medical conditions / disabilities beyond the common cold without a medical diagnosis (the focus at most would be on symptoms) and in fact to do so could be evidence of hypochondria if not other mental health issues. This suggested action seriously undermines the genuine needs of others and I would hope you would have the decency to feel ashamed by your suggestion.

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KezT   

I agree completely and am quite shocked and a little angry and upset by the suggestion made. You wouldn't (I hope) 'just say' you have other medical conditions / disabilities beyond the common cold without a medical diagnosis (the focus at most would be on symptoms) and in fact to do so could be evidence of hypochondria if not other mental health issues. This suggested action seriously undermines the genuine needs of others and I would hope you would have the decency to feel ashamed by your suggestion.

 

 

I also agree - in fact I think you could get into SERIOUS trouble for caiming to have a medical condition without any basis in fact.

 

If I went to the doctors complaining of various physical symptoms and he agreed to investigate what was causing those symptoms, I would hardly be justified in claiming that "I have cancer" or "I have MS" or "I have Parkinsons" when attending the DWP!!!! although all those are possible reasons for the symptoms I was experiencing, and I *may* be diagnosed with one of them after tests..... Although I may also be diagnosed with anaemia :rolleyes:

 

If you claim to have a specific disabaility, and it is then proven untrue, you would be liable in law and could be prosecuted! You are perfectly OK to say "I have these problems/issues, and am undergoing tests to see if I am autistic" but to claim a condition without any medical basis in fact is fraud

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Hi Bloodheart,

 

With regards to your question on Advocacy here is a website that explains. I see you are located in Newcastle. I am only familiar of London procedures, but found this that is in your area

 

http://www.cvsnewcas...cy/advocacy.htm

 

 

Also with regards to the NAS campaign, here is the actual campaign. You just put your details in the box and it takes you to the actual letter. I think it first allows you to put your own part within the letter to express how it will help you and then it will take you to the full letter, so you can read how it sounds before sending it to the authority.

 

http://e-activist.co...ampaign.id=8886

 

 

If you haven't gained a formal diagnosis yet then this will be something I would recommend you do try and get arranged and an advocate might also be able to help you with this too. What you could do until then is write down all the factual difficulties you do have in connection with the job seeking process, which might start from a few days before you go there, and also how it affects you after going and for how long. If you are like me, I have to prepare for things sometimes weeks in advance to structure the whole process, even just getting out my door and it can affect me for a long time afterwards due to trying to process the whole day to try and understand things. Make a list on one side of a piece of paper of the difficulties you have and then put down what you think would help improve your prospects in getting work in the job seeking process. This is just a thought. It has helped me in the past. This you could give to an advocate or GP, or anyone involved in helping you find a job. The main thing it does help with is that you become more clearer of your own difficulties from seeing it down on paper, so improves the ability to communicate it.

 

I hope this helps you make some decisions

 

Best wishes

 

DBx

 

 

 

 

 

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you don't want to sound critical and you're offended? try and get a sense of proportion.

I can understand this person not wanting to work in a shop I have when I was younger and it made me 1000 times worse, I got threatened with knives and stuff alot when people came in to steal from us.

 

the fact is I had these problems with people saying "You should just get whatever job going" and I did and it wrecked me because people don't think you have an illness they just think we are ###### because of the way we talk and the things we say etc. not to mention the fact that unlike NT people when someone says something bad about us it stays in our heads as clear as the moment it was said forever so we avoid situations where those things can happen, I just think it is so easy for you people to be critical and point out shortcomings without realizing we have to live with the intensity it leaves behind so yeah I can relate to what the OP said about the manager/adviser.

 

my piece of advice to the OP is this, these days I have given up trying to explain my illness to people in official positions so I tell them that certain things are against a religious belief of some sort, they never argue with that and if they ask what it is you can say "it is against the law to discriminate against my belief system and I reserve the right to withhold the identity of said religion"

 

I accept on reflection that it may have come across as quite blunt. however you have copy and pasted my words out of context. As OP has now clarified their comment re shop work has been misunderstood which I accept. If they had posted that they were unable to do shop work due to sensory problems etc etc I am sure that their would have been no negative comments regarding the OP.

 

In response to OP original question I would think that as in most jobs there are good people who work for the Jobcentre and rubbish judgemental people. The organisation that I mentioned in my OP Starting point are excellent and can help with job searches, courses, completing applications/CV, Interview practice and even funding for practical training. This is the link for the one in my local area http://www.thestartingpoint.org/ if you give them a call I am sure they would be happy to point you in the right direction of a similar organisation in your area.

 

Anyways apologies to OP if my post felt like I was attacking you it was not my intention, good luck in your job hunt.

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The link is now: www.autism.org.uk/23627

 

I definitely don't qualify...

 

  • you must meet at least one of the following three conditions:
    • at the start of your ESA claim you had paid enough national insurance contributions to qualify
    • your income and savings are low enough to qualify
    • you have been transferred off Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance and onto ESA, or you have qualified under the ESA in Youth rules before April 2012

:(

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dekra   

I have AS, I have 2 children the eldest of whom has SLI and GDD which is pretty similar to HFA and that's what the dx might end up. Like Justin's I am in the midst of retraining as a nurse. My reasoning for that? I wanted more than forcing myself to work in call centres or on check outs which are both situations I struggled with due to the way my AS effects me. But I have been in and out if a lot if these jobs over the years as I needed to keep the income flowing. When I felt I couldn't do that any longer I got a job working from home and was in this job for nearly 5 years - the only time have held a job for any length if time. It might not be easy but I found train my Aspie focus towards finding a way around my issues helped me make progress.

 

As a former shop worker I respect those on the front lines dealing with rude and obnoxious customers day in day out for a pretty poor wage. They can do something I can't cope with for any length of time.

 

So my advice to you is to work out what you CAN cope with. Then work out if you are qualified to get a job like that and if you are not what you need to do so that you are - then do it.

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