"There’s a place in every organisation for us neurodiverse"
On long-term sick leave after being diagnosed with autism and OCD, John had come to terms with a sad fact. He’d probably have to leave the job he’d done for 19 years and find something else.
Fortunately, with his permission, his line manager contacted Creased Puddle and Caroline became involved. She quickly set up four-way communication between the line manager, John, occupational health and HR.
Caroline established everyone’s priorities and identified a way of getting John back into full-time work.
Said John: “Something I have learned from my own experience and Caroline: there’s a place in every organisation for us neuro-diverse. They just don’t always realise it and need someone to tell them… and us.
“Then we can work together on the 5WHs – Why, Who, What, Where, When and How. Caroline is that someone.”
Embracing the spectrum
Tom had always known he had Asperger’s but had no awareness of how his diagnosis affected him. This caused him problems in the workplace when he experienced new sensory issues.
Caroline acted as a ‘cultural, social and sensory translator’, giving him more of an insight into his work environment and vice versa. The company was then able to put into place reasonable adjustments, resulting in a more productive and happy employee.
“In one call, Caroline was able to give me confidence that there are many ways employers can adjust working arrangements and embrace the spectrum,” said Tom.
“She clearly knew what she was talking about. Her experience both dealing with autism and working at different levels in a big organisation means she knows what adjustments can be made and how the Equality Act impacts on employment.”
No more blind alleys
Roger was a forward-thinking, caring employer who had an autistic employee. Kevin had had a number of meltdowns at work and his MD and line manager wanted to know what they could do to make him happier and retain his skills.
Caroline became a part of the management communication process and quickly built a rapport with Kevin. She delivered Autism Education, conducted a workplace assessment and trained a Company Autism Champion.
Kevin said: “By far the best thing, Caroline was an independent authoritative voice working with me and my employer. Caroline explained to us that for an adult to adjust to a diagnosis takes time.
“She made recommendations regarding the type of work I would be best suited to, and the type of environment and working arrangements. It was no longer me trying to work out what was just life and what was autism and not wanting to ask for adjustments, because ‘everyone feels that way’: it was a person whose opinion my employer sought, respected and acted on.
“I made contact with Caroline Turner, the Autism Friend of my organisation, because I was expected to by my employer. I didn’t expect it to be any different to the blind alleys I had already been down – well-meaning but of no help. I have never been so incorrect.”
(Names have been changed)