I feel I should give you a backstory on how this all happened. Also, this is to show how ignorant some people can be just because you exhibit different traits of a certain condition than someone else. This is going to be about how an ignorant counselor said I wasn’t autistic, for a stupid reason may I add.
I feel that this caused me to not get the help that I needed with the program as I progressed. This is why education is important. Stigma, misinformation, and myths will cause us to struggle.
Most people who are labeled as ‘high functioning’ will more than likely have their needs ignored because of the misinformation out there. People think high-functioning means you have it easy or whatever. This may have been the cause for this person I will talk about. We need to get rid of these labels. They’re giving people the wrong idea.
I went through a program that helped people with disabilities find employment. Or at least I thought this program helped disabled people find jobs. But it was unclear as to what disabilities they worked with ( eg dyslexia, speech issues, etc) My mom had signed me up, at least she called the place. I mean sign me up with the bit with the lady we will talk about. The mistake we both made was not actually asking questions and assuming. This does not excuse the ignorance the counselor had.
She thought they would send me a referral of some sort. After not hearing or getting anything, she called the place back and they told her I had to meet with someone. My mom has records of my autism, however, she gave most of the records to social security when we applied back in 2016. Which is why you ALWAYS make copies of your things. This happened in 2017 but I was not blogging at that time or into making autism content. The one thing I should have found odd is when I asked my mom about this place she kept saying she didn’t know. Did whoever she called not explain this program? Why didn’t she ask questions before booking an appointment?
My initial impression of this program is that they help you find a job within your abilities. My mom assumed they would help me with my disability case rather than actually asking. The program wasn’t what I expected it to be. My mom gave the lady the records that we still had. I told her I have autism and the job settings I needed. She looked at my records and had the audacity to tell me I wasn’t autistic because of ‘how I talked.’ She listened to the stigma rather than facts. So because of ‘how I talk’ I’m not autistic to her. She is no certified doctor so she had no business telling me what I don’t have. I literally didn’t say that much when I walked into her cubical. What the hell does that mean? She also thinks I am not autistic because I have a high IQ. Autism does not affect how smart you are. It affects how you learn. It affects your ability to detect social cues and what to do in social situations. Autistic people are bright, however, Nts fall to the stigma thus labeling us as ‘retarded.’ When I was in school because I didn’t know about another kid’s interest, he labeled me as stupid right off the bat. A person with autism just needs a different method of learning. Let’s say Joe is autistic and he has an interest in cars, he has issues finding people who like cars or knowing if he is boring the person he is talking to about cars.
She probably saw ‘high-functioning’ and thought that meant I wasn’t autistic, to begin with. She didn’t want to learn how my disorder affects me. She wanted to stay ignorant and listen to the stigmas. Disregarding what I and my mom tried telling her. How can you learn about autism but not listen to someone who has the disorder? This is what makes me mad. People who don’t want to learn about autism and rather stay arrogant and listen to stigmas and myths rather than FACTS.
High-functioning autistic people get ignored because of misinformation and myths.
When I told her the settings I needed, she refused to listen. I told her I need something where I don’t have to deal with people for anxiety reasons and because my social abilities are compromised and she saw it as ‘being anti-social.’ Autistics prefer jobs where they do not have to talk to anyone because of their lack of social skills and because ASD people are targets of being bullied. We prefer jobs where we don’t have to talk to anyone because we feel like outsiders, we don’t understand the social norm. Nothing to do with being anti-social. If you weren’t good at basketball, would you join the basketball team? Probably not but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to play sports.
Overall, we face burnout when faced with a lot of people and it can take days for us to recharge.
When the lady told me if I got a job, they’d hold my paycheck for a month, I got upset and she said I am ‘being negative.’ Stupid lady. What? You expect someone to be happy if you tell them they won’t get paid for X amount of time?! Nobody wants to do crap in this world and not get paid. How was I supposed to get to work if they won’t pay me for a freaking month?! Most people may use that first check to load their Venture cards (a new system that allows you to pay for public transit) or for gas, I don’t know who will have money to lend me to get to and from work for a month. I should have dared her to tell her hairdresser, contractor, etc that she can’t pay them for a month and see what they say. If someone gets a job they don’t have time to wait a month for their check. SO they’re supposed to sit in the dark for not getting paid to pay the utility bill?
She thought because I can socialize I am not autistic. It’s more than that. Most autistics cannot read body language, tones, etc. Like when I went to the gym and the guy at the desk greeted us and I responded. To me, I didn’t sound harsh, I couldn’t pick up how my tone would sound to someone else, but my tone intimidated the guy. Autism is so misunderstood that people don’t dig deeper. So yeah I can walk up and say hi, but I would not pick up if my tone sounds intimidating to someone. It’s like doing gymnastics just because you’re a gymnast doesn’t mean there aren’t certain tricks you can’t do.
Most people with autism aren’t aware of their actions at times. This lady failed to understand that autism is more than just having issues socializing. She didn’t want to understand how working a job (eg fast food) would be too overwhelming. Just because we can talk to someone doesn’t mean anything. You don’t know other issues we may face.
Don’t be ignorant, be understanding. No one with a disability will be the same. This is why education is important. It’s not to shove it down your throat, it’s not because we’re ‘special’ it’s to teach you that there are more struggles with autism that meets the eye. It’s to show how people struggle in the world due to misinformation and stigmas about their disorder. This is probably why autistics struggle in a neurotypical world. People invalidate us because we may have different hurdles than someone else. Stop downplaying others and coming down on them just because they don’t have things the same way as you do.
Employers don’t wanna give us a chance because we’re different or fire us just because our disorder makes it hard to do the job rather than creating an alternative. The lady saw me as saying ” I can’t” when she listed jobs I clearly would not be able to handle. When you’re taking a test, you eliminate the bad answers to narrow it to the good answers, right? I would have preferred that she cancel my case than to proceed through a program that wasn’t going to help me in the first place. If I couldn’t handle the jobs she listed, then that’s settled. I HATED this lady to the core.
I am never going back to that place again. They do not assist autistic adults nor do they work with enough to understand. Autistic adults struggle with employment 2x harder than someone with a different disorder. You can tell the employer you’re dyslexic and they will give you your tasks vocally. Tell an employer you’re autistic and you will either be fired, harassed or have your hours/days cut. Although disabled people are unemployed in general. More folks with autism are unemployed than someone with a different disability. Someone in a wheelchair may not struggle with socializing as I do.
Kinda sad that someone who is supposed to understand disabilities doesn’t. I think what may have happened is when my mom called this place she probably just said ‘do you help people with disabilities?’ They probably thought I had a physical disability. Thus putting me with that arrogant lady.
I made a video on this topic if you’re interested in watching. This is why I started talking about autism on my blog and YouTube/Verond channel. There are just too many stigmas out there. The result of this lady’s arrogance caused me to not get the help I needed when it came to the portion of the program that helped you with employment. The bit with the arrogant lady was like registering me for the next portion. I think had my mom specifically said ‘adults with autism’ this whole mess would have been avoided. If they didn’t work with autistic people they would have said it, if they did I would have been placed properly. I ended up in a group with people who were previously employed. How would that help me when my situation is different than everyone else? How can you stick someone who has never worked with a group of people who have? Their problem was different than mine. That program might have been for people who were previously employed from the get-go. Because my mom didn’t give them enough information, most likely that’s why I ended up with that stupid lady. This is why when you’re dealing with programs like that, you need to be clear.
I think that the program should have called my mom back if they didn’t have enough information. If you are not certain, get more info instead of throwing someone with a random person. You will cause them to not get the help they need.
I think fear comes from a lack of education. If you heard of something you don’t know about, what would you think? However, if the person refuses to get educated then we have a problem.