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AspergerSimpleLife

Autistic people never get the slack that other minorities are given

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Sanctuary
16 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

I figure with autism a lot builds up not over months but over years. I am ultra sensitive to discrimination although I do understand this person I refer to isn't doing it on purpose. His frustration is over my not being good at verbal attentiveness or doing things my own way. However, with autism there is often poor verbal attention but strong visual information processing. For example, Nesf has shared already how her language skills developed much better not through audio and listening but doing it her way. At any rate I am very sensitive and touchy over being talked down to or even bullied just because I process information differently. Many years of such negativity had once left me with zero confidence. Teachers calling you "thick" and a system that boxes people into categories and so on. My experience with autism is it can in a few cases leave you unemployable in the routine sense but you gain other, special talents in exchange. Often these talents can be very useful even in the area of employment. In other words I don't mind my shortcomings being noticed but I do react to being dismissed as inferior. I also think everyone is entitled to respect and once disrespect, or abuse, looks like setting in, for me these days it's not something I can tolerate. I tend to react to discrimination even if it's directed towards someone else. 

The sensitivity you feel is perfectly understandable in the context of your experiences and personality - I am exactly the same. Comments that may just wash over other people are dissected in depth and can cause long-term hurt. I've come across a lot of very perceptive quotes from a Polish writer called Stanislav Lec and one of them was "Wounds heal and become scars, but scars grow with us." Therefore the injury from a bad experience (sometimes just a single comment) eases over time but the evidence of it can persist far longer. Some people do seem to be much more resilient in such cases but we can't magically become resilient. I also think resilience can reduce as we get older. Comments or poor treatment that might have had little or only temporary impact when we were younger later on have far more capacity to hurt and cause long-term injury - maybe it's that our mind has "taken too many knocks". 

It's also true that past negative experiences can cause us to misinterpret words and events. A genuinely innocent comment can be misintepreted as criticism or sarcasm. Negative experiences often produce trepidation about the future and can mean that when we go into a situation we do in an anxious, unconfident or overly-sensitive manner that others pick up on. It's not easy to counteract these feelings and impressions. 

One problem is that many people don't think properly about what they're saying. They're not malicious but they say things that are on reflection are likely to be hurtful or undermine confidence. Sometimes words are said out of frustration or they're coming from a culture where "tough talk" is the norm and they think that how's we learn. There are some bullies who enjoy mistreating others and then there are those who believe in "survival of the fittest" and "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" as justification for rough treatment but these people are the minority. Whatever their reasoning we can do better than this and - if we don't - people of talent often fall by the wayside. 

As you mentioned in your last post it's always worth reminding ourselves that there are good people and good experiences out there. It's good to dwell on those positives and - if we can - surround ourselves with those better people. However we certainly shouldn't blame ourselves for feeling hurt or let-down when we are treated badly. 

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Dr-David-Banner
7 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

The sensitivity you feel is perfectly understandable in the context of your experiences and personality - I am exactly the same. Comments that may just wash over other people are dissected in depth and can cause long-term hurt. I've come across a lot of very perceptive quotes from a Polish writer called Stanislav Lec and one of them was "Wounds heal and become scars, but scars grow with us." Therefore the injury from a bad experience (sometimes just a single comment) eases over time but the evidence of it can persist far longer. Some people do seem to be much more resilient in such cases but we can't magically become resilient. I also think resilience can reduce as we get older. Comments or poor treatment that might have had little or only temporary impact when we were younger later on have far more capacity to hurt and cause long-term injury - maybe it's that our mind has "taken too many knocks". 

It's also true that past negative experiences can cause us to misinterpret words and events. A genuinely innocent comment can be misintepreted as criticism or sarcasm. Negative experiences often produce trepidation about the future and can mean that when we go into a situation we do in an anxious, unconfident or overly-sensitive manner that others pick up on. It's not easy to counteract these feelings and impressions. 

One problem is that many people don't think properly about what they're saying. They're not malicious but they say things that are on reflection are likely to be hurtful or undermine confidence. Sometimes words are said out of frustration or they're coming from a culture where "tough talk" is the norm and they think that how's we learn. There are some bullies who enjoy mistreating others and then there are those who believe in "survival of the fittest" and "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" as justification for rough treatment but these people are the minority. Whatever their reasoning we can do better than this and - if we don't - people of talent often fall by the wayside. 

As you mentioned in your last post it's always worth reminding ourselves that there are good people and good experiences out there. It's good to dwell on those positives and - if we can - surround ourselves with those better people. However we certainly shouldn't blame ourselves for feeling hurt or let-down when we are treated badly. 

It has led to a meltdown. I think the reason for that is I had finally received the chance to earn a little money and I thought things were going to improve. Not only that but I worked hard. This then seems like the same old pattern and ended in disappointment. One thing I should explain is that years ago when I used to get rejected in jobs, I was also poorly skilled and not qualified. Now the situation has changed 180 degrees as I'm highly qualified, literate and numerate. Yet it has made no difference and that's hard to digest. The more time I had not employed, the more I absorbed vast amounts of information. I mean it's either that or give in to anxiety - I have found intense interests act as a great diversion from negative thinking. Meantime everybody else works, socialises and "fits in". They are busy experiencing life and sharing it. So now I find this huge gap. Specifically I'm very high functioning but, at the same time, cannot interact collectively in any team situation. The reason for my current meltdown is it seems clear the system has no opening for me anywhere. All I'm left with is a strong sense of self-belief, my principles and pride in being on the autism spectrum. Also I always think my situation is eerily like that of Candice Hilligoss in Carnival Of Souls. The scene where the church pastor dismisses her as church organist (for not fitting or being tuned to the feelings of their congregation). I really now need to think long and hard on what exactly I intend to do to. To date nothing has worked out and I notice the whole economy these days revolves around practical jobs and social hierarchy.

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Sanctuary
On 4/28/2019 at 11:14 PM, Dr-David-Banner said:

It has led to a meltdown. I think the reason for that is I had finally received the chance to earn a little money and I thought things were going to improve. Not only that but I worked hard. This then seems like the same old pattern and ended in disappointment. One thing I should explain is that years ago when I used to get rejected in jobs, I was also poorly skilled and not qualified. Now the situation has changed 180 degrees as I'm highly qualified, literate and numerate. Yet it has made no difference and that's hard to digest. The more time I had not employed, the more I absorbed vast amounts of information. I mean it's either that or give in to anxiety - I have found intense interests act as a great diversion from negative thinking. Meantime everybody else works, socialises and "fits in". They are busy experiencing life and sharing it. So now I find this huge gap. Specifically I'm very high functioning but, at the same time, cannot interact collectively in any team situation. The reason for my current meltdown is it seems clear the system has no opening for me anywhere. All I'm left with is a strong sense of self-belief, my principles and pride in being on the autism spectrum. Also I always think my situation is eerily like that of Candice Hilligoss in Carnival Of Souls. The scene where the church pastor dismisses her as church organist (for not fitting or being tuned to the feelings of their congregation). I really now need to think long and hard on what exactly I intend to do to. To date nothing has worked out and I notice the whole economy these days revolves around practical jobs and social hierarchy.

There's no doubt that it can be a great blow to have what seems like a great opportunity, a light at the end of the tunnel, and then have it snatched away. Getting jobs in particular can be so difficult. The job market is very much set-up towards workers who have been in pretty much solid employment for a long time. Employers are reluctant to take on workers who - for whatever reason - have either been out of employment for some time or have had "patchy" employment histories with a few short-term jobs punctuated by periods out of the labour market. As the phrase goes "the best way to get a job is to already have one". 

Qualifications don't make the difference we might expect. Someone may have lots of qualifications (especially academic ones) but be unattractive to employers because of their employment history. This can push someone towards more routine work which employers find harder to fill. In this case though high qualifications or a past professional background may mean even bigger problems fitting in as the person is from such a different background to their colleagues. This is before even considering the impact of ASD which makes fitting-in even more of a challenge. 

I'm not quite sure of the answer as I've had similar problems. The ideal would always be to find some kind of self-employment centred around a personal interest or otherwise working in that area but I know it's not easy to make a sustainable living out of such work. You may well have done it before but it's probably best in these circumstances to outline these difficulties to job centres / employment agencies so they can give better advice and maybe help find better opportunities. There's no need to mention autism but highlight the need for the right opportunity rather than any opportunity. Sometimes it's better just to put the cards on the table, be open and say "I need help" rather than keep struggling away in silence. I'm not good at seeking help in that way but sometimes it has to be done as well as highlighting all the skills (such as the practical ones you've been using) as well as academic ones. There will be employers who will do the right thing but they need to be put in the picture about what a job-seeker needs so they can accommodate them better. I hope you find a good employment opportunity David as you clearly have a lot to offer.

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Dr-David-Banner
7 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

There's no doubt that it can be a great blow to have what seems like a great opportunity, a light at the end of the tunnel, and then have it snatched away. Getting jobs in particular can be so difficult. The job market is very much set-up towards workers who have been in pretty much solid employment for a long time. Employers are reluctant to take on workers who - for whatever reason - have either been out of employment for some time or have had "patchy" employment histories with a few short-term jobs punctuated by periods out of the labour market. As the phrase goes "the best way to get a job is to already have one". 

Qualifications don't make the difference we might expect. Someone may have lots of qualifications (especially academic ones) but be unattractive to employers because of their employment history. This can push someone towards more routine work which employers find harder to fill. In this case though high qualifications or a past professional background may mean even bigger problems fitting in as the person is from such a different background to their colleagues. This is before even considering the impact of ASD which makes fitting-in even more of a challenge. 

I'm not quite sure of the answer as I've had similar problems. The ideal would always be to find some kind of self-employment centred around a personal interest or otherwise working in that area but I know it's not easy to make a sustainable living out of such work. You may well have done it before but it's probably best in these circumstances to outline these difficulties to job centres / employment agencies so they can give better advice and maybe help find better opportunities. There's no need to mention autism but highlight the need for the right opportunity rather than any opportunity. Sometimes it's better just to put the cards on the table, be open and say "I need help" rather than keep struggling away in silence. I'm not good at seeking help in that way but sometimes it has to be done as well as highlighting all the skills (such as the practical ones you've been using) as well as academic ones. There will be employers who will do the right thing but they need to be put in the picture about what a job-seeker needs so they can accommodate them better. I hope you find a good employment opportunity David as you clearly have a lot to offer.

Here is the score, as I understand it. This is a cycle that began at school and caused major disruption onwards. Despite that, the difference is at school the neurological problems (such as attention deficit), brought about significant learning disability. Only in reading did I always seem to do quite well. Much later, aged about 20 or so, I started to develop alternative ways to process information. I have met online other autists who have had this experience but not everybody suffers from related learning difficulties or delay. Anyway, linguistics was my first interest and I found self-study was the way to go. I did much better with books and quiet than in classes. Attention deficit issues that involved personal interaction had the opposite effect in context of self-study. Alone I have super concentration and eye for detail continued to develop. The main point is this: I was able to overcome all my learning difficulties and bypass any need for needing personal tuition or being instructed. It's the same way a person with very bad eye-sight will develop stronger hearing or use of touch. Asperger himself noted something he referred to as "compensation by nature".
Here then is my problem and it's a major one: To be perfectly honest with you, I found when push comes to shove, nothing has changed. The pattern of "not being good enough" continues in its course. The big differences are mainly that, decades ago, I was also held back by deficits in skills and functionality. Whereas today, functionality and skills are very high but these never developed through involvement of other people or in any social context. I first discovered this when I went to uni the first time, since everyone said I had all this potential and I needed to go there. Despite that, the first year at uni I failed in spectacular fashion. All of a sudden I was back in class, being subjected to a system that had failed in the past. At the time, I hit rock bottom although there was a happy ending as the uni allowed me a second chance (and | relied more on self-study again).
To clarify it all, I can state I am very high-functioning today but in an entirely different context. If you were to ask me what my ideal job would be, I would have to say proof-reading or spotting details. To go a step further, in languages I do really well but have no real outlet as a teacher or in EFL. This was disastrous at times, especially company classes. However, I notice that when I watch films in another language, I can spot the slightest errors done by the translators. Maybe I would notice too a word used in Spanish doesn't fit the sense of the original English script and would find a better alternative. This second strength, as you see, doesn't require any group involvement or interaction as you find with teaching.
In line with the thread itself, I would say here we have a huge problem because the system simply is not including those with HFA but goes so far as to reject their inclusion and not even try to understand how the autistic mind functions. Staggeringly, even in Nazi Austria, neurologists had actually accepted autists were necessary and valuable in so many cases. The evidence was as carefully documented and researched as the V2 Rocket research that eventually ended up used by the American space program. So, I wonder why after a period of decades, we are being left to struggle either in low pay or zero employment. Personally, I simply have no answers as to what happens next. All I know is I can understand what exactly is going wrong and what needs to be done but without actual support and recognition it is a very hard challenge ahead.

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