2018 - the year I want to make a difference for neurodiversity

The change I want to make for neurodiversity


So much can happen in a year, and this year I am hoping to have an eventful one.

A common question I was asked last year was “What do you want to do?". I found it difficult to tell others what I was thinking as I felt it wouldn’t come across in the way I wanted, but I did write it down. Re-reading what I wrote, I can see that my hopes for 2018 closely align with what I wrote. Now I just need to work out what I am going to do to make it happen.

July 2017

I have been open about my hidden hopes and fears, and yet I still have the frustration of not feeling like the world understands me, or accepts me for who I am. I want the world to embrace and accept me. Understanding that I may be challenging when I feel challenged, and be able to look past initial judgements to understand the person I really am.

I wish I could find a way to tell them what I really want to say.

I am autistic.

I am tired of trying to jump through hoops. Don't tell me I need to change, take time to understand me and think about how best to work with me.

I don’t like networking, small talk with people I don’t know and having socially demanding conversations where there is unresolved conflict. Don’t tell me it is easy, or that everyone finds it difficult. Help me find someone to be my social bridge, so I can partner with them to achieve a much better outcome for us all.

I can’t cope with major uncertainty, unclear expectations and unexpected change / challenges to previously agreed approaches. I need time to work it through, so give me the space to process it rather than expect me to agree or comment on the spot.

I need to find a better way of finding help when things are not going to plan and my anxiety threatens to undo all the progress that I have made. Don’t judge me when I am drowning, throw me some support so I can make my way back to shore where I can stand again.

I need to find a way to focus on what I want to say - without loosing people as my brain jumps from topic to topic as it connects the many ideas that are racing through my mind. Don’t tell me to be more concise all the time, my greatest insights come from these seemingly manic streams of dialogue. Allow me these initial chaotic conversations where I can work through my ideas, and then we can follow up with the more structured reviews.

I want to help my team, and others, grow.

I want to be involved in work that I find interesting and challenging.

I want to be thought of as delivering something of value.

I want to feel appreciated and valued

I want to make a difference.

January 2018

This is the year I start to make a difference - for me, my family, at work and possibly a little further afield.

For 6 months I have been talking about establishing neurodiversity at work, and becoming a spokesperson for the importance of neurodiversity and embracing people's differences rather than trying to make them fit a mould that is not right for them. This is the year I turn my words into action.

For too long I have struggled with the anxiety of not living up to social expectations or fitting in with others, to the extent that I have become my own worse critic each time I struggle in socially demanding situations.

Last year I discovered that there can be another way for me. A way where I can achieve my career goals without trying to be someone else. 

I brought about my own reasonable adjustments. This involved opening up and talking to the people close to me about situations I find challenging and working out what I need to thrive. It has made a difference. I feel less pressure to try to be someone I am not, and it turns out that people appreciate my honesty. I have also learnt that people are more understanding when I explain in advance. As a result, my anxiety is lower and I feel more comfortable with the people around me.

This is the me that I want to embrace. This is the change that I want to help bring about for other people (if they want it). This is what I want to do.

I am hopeful in my boldness, even when my legs shake at the thought of what I am wanting to achieve.

Here’s to my little dream becoming a reality.

Life and ASC
_

No comments

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top