Max, a writer and Disability Gamechanger, writes about the challenges he faces finding employment as a person with autism.
I choose to fight for the voices of others on the autistic spectrum. Through my own efforts to find work and my writing, I aim to show that those on the autistic spectrum can play an important role in the workplace and indeed, society.
As someone who has a deep passion for social issues and strongly believes in the concept of society, I want to contribute to society through employment. And yes, I do realise that means paying taxes!
All I need is a bit of patience
Along my personal journey, there have been many positive experiences as well as challenges and people who have believed in me. I recently undertook a placement at a very inclusive and welcoming PR marketing agency in Barry, Wales. Here I was given the patience and understanding to build my confidence and work at my own speed. I am also working part-time with an education technology start-up to help develop kids and adults digital skills.
The main barrier for me in the past, and one which I still sometime face has been interviews. I often struggle to express all my strengths in the pressurised situation that is a job interview, and as a result I feel that employers only see my anxiety.
Though I recognise that verbal communications skills are important in marketing and any other employment sector, I know that once I settle into an environment I can achieve anything I set my mind to! All I need is a bit of patience.
One of the biggest impacts that such barriers have had on me are feelings of isolation and loneliness. I am sure these are feelings which are shared by many others in the disabled community.