Autistic people face discrimination and prejudice in a society which expects us to understand and fit in with social rules that are not of our making. Autistic people are also part of the disabled people's fightback. This section includes my work providing 'Autism in the workplace' training and information for trade union representatives, plus campaign news, and personal and political observations.
On Thursday 12 May, author Janine Booth and foreword-writer John McDonnell MP spoke at the launch event for 'Autism Equality in the Workplace: removing barriers and challenging discrimination', with contributions from two autistic workers and a parent of an autistic worker. Around fifty people attended.
Photos by Esme Bradbury, mostly.
Autism educator Damian Milton (South Bank University, National Autistic Society) recently spoke with author Janine Booth about some of the issues raised in her new book, Autism Equality in the Workplace: Removing Barriers and Challenging Discrimination. During the interview Janine speaks at length about the importance of unions for employees with autism and how improved communication and understanding of autism by employers can benefit all workers.
Unionlearn is a great resource for trade union learning representatives, and for all trade unionists interested in gaining knowledge and skills and encouraging workmates to do so too.
Welcome to our month of Autism Bewareness
No demands for equal rights or fairness
Reshaping round holes into squareness
You'll miss the point if you are careless
For it's our charity's consensus
That those afflicted are defenceless
We want a cure not independence
Please help us meet our great expenses
On 13 January, I addressed Hackney's Health and Wellbeing Board as part of its Patient Voice agenda item, discussing provision for autistic adults in the Borough. Rather belatedly, Hackney is now considering a draft plan to implement its duties under the Autism Act. Here's what I said ...
'Sonnet' means 'little song'; Saga Noren is the (autistic) lead character in Swedish/Danish crime drama The Bridge.
A little song across a Bridge to link
A multi-neuro-lingual Tower of Babel
Two tongues, two countries, varied ways to think
On fire not cold, you're different not unstable
Unmentioned spectrum's focus, dedication
Not held up by romantic hero's arms
Your single mind concludes investigation
No need for verbal foreplay, social charms
Embittered colleague, hostile boss and mother
Atypical emotions still run true
The problems you have understanding others
Are no more than their problems knowing you
Subtitle this if our sort still seem foreign:
I think perhaps I love you, Saga Noren
Three years ago, at the age of 45, I was diagnosed as autistic. It made complete sense to me, like being short-sighted all my life and finally getting a pair of glasses!