“When I found out about Specialisterne, I was so relieved because I knew their program would give me a chance at employment without worrying how or when I would disclose my autism to my employer, and whether they would provide support for my sensory needs and differences in the way I work.”
I am a stay at home mum to three young children. After the birth of my first born I left employment, and after 10 years, I have decided to try to get back into the workforce. My background is in IT, and I am an artist in my spare time.
Why am I different?
Last year I was diagnosed with autism. It clarified so many things that made me wonder why I was different to others, but it also gave me a sense of relief, and freedom to embrace my autistic identity.
I had spent much of my life masking (which is attempting to disguise my autistic traits), and after being diagnosed I was able to trace back periods of burn out and depression with excessive masking.
I have also learned about the strengths that come from being Autistic. For example, I have a highly curious mind that loves to know the ins and outs of how things work, and I can apply that knowledge to problem solving in sometimes surprising ways.
I also have great attention to detail and having senses that filter information differently to the norm means I often pick up on things that others do not.
Another strength I have is my ability to empathise. It is a bit of a myth that autistic people do not have empathy, it is that empathy is often expressed differently by autistic people. In the workplace that high level of empathy means I strive to meet the needs of clients.
Disclose my autism?
the beginning of the year, I started job hunting, but was frightened about whether or not I should disclose my Autism diagnosis, whether I would get support, or whether I would even make it through an interview.
When I found out about Specialisterne, I was so relieved because I knew their program would give me a chance at employment without worrying how or when I would disclose my autism to my employer, and whether they would provide support for my sensory needs and differences in the way I work.
The training that Specialisterne is providing has greatly boosted my confidence by gradually challenging me to step outside of my comfort zone. The long break from the workforce had made me unsure of my abilities, but through the encouragement of both Specialisterne staff and the other candidates, I feel like I have a chance at employment, and really contributing with the strengths and abilities that come from being autistic.