Supporting autistic adults to achieve more in their lives
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AutiQuest does not consider autism to be a "disorder". Nevertheless, it is a real condition that many people have, the cause of which we still do not really understand (though there are many theories).
There are three common features of autism, which might affect the way the autistic person:
Autism is not a learning disability but around half of people with autism may also have a learning disability which will affect the level of support they need.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism (also called "high functioning autism) which may also affect the way a person communicates and relates to other people.
People with Asperger syndrome may experience challenges such as anxiety or other conditions. However, people with Asperger syndrome will not have a learning disability as they will have an average or above average intelligence.
AutiQuest's passion is to help autistic adults achieve more in their lives, particularly with regard to employment.
We recognise that many adults are struggling with the condition without the necessary support. We also know that many autistic adults feel misunderstood. For example, when someone with autism tells someone that they have this, often the other person remarks.."I guess you can draw really complicated things very well!". The fact is that many with autism do not have this "hyper-skill". This makes them feel even more isolated. Autistic individuals are fed up with being misunderstood. So before you can support people, you must understand the problems that they, specifically, have. AutiQuest approaches autism support from this angle.
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There seems to be an imbalance regarding autism support. There is a lot of support and advice for parents of children with autism (which, of course, is a very good thing) but there is much less support for autistic adults making their way in the world. These children do grow up after all. AutiQuest's focus is on these adults. They need more support to help them achieve more in their lives, especially with regard to gaining and maintaining employment.
The purpose of providing services is to deliver positive outcomes. Too many organisations focus on providing services because they "provide services". We, at AutiQuest, believe that it is all about positive outcomes....these being a better future and outlook for people with autism as a result of the experience of AutiQuest's services and products. And being person-centred is key because:
PERSON CENTRED PRACTICE + OUTCOMES BASED PRACTICE = POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE
By diagnostic definition, most autistic individuals have difficulties initiating, establishing or maintaining interpersonal relationships. Not surprisingly, therefore, many autistic adults become socially isolated.
Employment prospects for autistic adults are often problematic. Firstly it can be hard to negotiate the interview (the "Tell me about yourself?" question may be a welcome opportunity for most people to seize control but for autistic interviewees it can cause a panic driven stall). There is also the matter of whether to declare one's autism on the application form. AutiQuest is of the opinion that one should not declare one's autism on the application form but to declare it well into the interview. Hopefully by then, the interviewer would have noticed the keen attention to detail that many with autism have!. Secondly, it can be challenging to keep down the job. Attention to detail is a positive trait for people with autism but this can be offset by a slower pace of work.
Housing options for adults affected with autism can be challenging. The result is that many people with autism live in situations where their minimal needs are not met.
Not only is access to health services often poor, the characteristics widely associated with autism can hamper diagnosis for routine medical problems.
AutiQuest is currently developing an App which is being designed to help autistic adults have more success in getting jobs. Launch planned for June 2019.
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