So, I may be autistic?

Diversity Mark’s signatory Allstate N.I. are delighted to be delivering their second series of workshops called “So, I may be autistic” exploring what it may be like to be autistic at work. It is open to employees who feel that they may be autistic and would like to explore that more. 

‘So, I may be autistic’ is designed to be practical in nature, to give participants the information they need to seek a diagnosis, or not, and to find out what solutions may help right now.

Read below the experiences shared by Allstate NI employees.

Why did you sign up for the So, I may be autistic, course?

I was very interested in learning more about what common traits are associated with autism, especially in adults as I’ve had a suspicion for a while now that I might have ASD and much of the content, articles, and research online is based on children. Diagnosis in adults tends to be later in life and this is especially true for women being under diagnosed on average. 

Could you tell us a little about what the course covered?

The course included:
– roleplays and video examples of adults with autism in the workplace
– how employers and colleagues can best support ASD employees
– the common experiences of individuals with ASD 

Did the course meet your expectations?

Yes. I found the course to be fantastic and something that I believe many people could get something out of. Either for yourself or for helping spot the signs in friends, family, or colleagues who may go undiagnosed. 

What did you take away from the course?

A deeper understanding of how ASD can present itself within adults, especially those on the higher functioning end of the spectrum. The course did cause me to get a bit emotional, but in a sigh of relief way as it helped explain a lot of experiences I have had in the past and some issues I have to this present day. It was especially helpful to have a member of Ausome give their experience with being diagnosed later in life and how to go about diagnosis. I cannot speak for everyone else who attended, but I felt a sense of belonging during the workshop and it was incredibly validating!

What would you say to your colleagues considering this course in the future?

If you have any thought in your mind that you might be an individual with ASD or are curious if someone close to you might be, I would highly recommend attending this course. The hosts are incredibly understanding, and the entire experience felt very validating. Discussion is involved but not mandatory, and it is a relaxed experience. Many scenarios I personally mentioned in the discussions were shared experiences with others who attended the workshops, and were validated to be traits of autism, which made me feel very relieved that I’m not alone or strange! Overall, it was a positive experience and there is much you can take away from it, regardless if you have been diagnosed, are currently going through the process of diagnosis, or are curious about yourself or someone else.

Read below about Chantelle’s experience with the 1st and 2nd course

I was born in South Africa and immigrated to Northern Ireland just under two years ago. I moved here with my husband and my two boys, aged 19 and 17. I started my role as an Enterprise Agile Coach with Allstate in May last year. One thing I was told early in life, if you want to belong at work, put your hand up to help, by following this advice I have met a lot of people who have quickly become friends and helped me settle into my new home.  

Why did you sign up for “So, I may be autistic”?

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was little and throughout his development there has always been a question in my mind, could I be? Through travelling his journey with him I have noticed that we do some things in similar ways, by him accepting his diagnosis it has made him free to explore the best ways for him to live. I would like to do the same for me.

What did you take away from the course?

I have taken that I did not understand that Autism and ADHD are different and that I have something to learn. I have also learnt that knowing a diagnosis does not always change how you feel, but it can. It is totally up to you if you get diagnosed. 

What would you say to your colleagues considering this course in the future?

If you have the opportunity and are interested to start the journey of discovery, do it. Knowing and being able to answer questions you may have, is worthwhile and the course gives you that knowledge to use. 

Congratulations to Allstate NI on successfully completing such an impactful workshop.

Allstate NI is a Gold Accredited signatory at Diversity Mark. If you would like to learn more about Diversity Mark please book a call here.

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