The lady from the National Autistic Society was extremely helpful and talked through all the services on offer on the phone. I was immediately signed up for the 10 year membership, thanks to the Ben Fund partnership. I hadn’t really thought of becoming a member before. As well as becoming a member, the lady at the National Autistic Society talked me through some e-learning modules I could work through at my own pace and that would support me in my everyday life, as well as help me make some improvements in the workplace.
I accessed the National Autistic Society online community straight away and this has made a big difference.
I get a magazine every quarter that really helps me. Reading about the experiences of other autistic people shows me I’m not alone and has helped me to develop various coping methods that I now use on a daily basis. The National Autistic Society has a good range of products to help both autistic adults and children.
After my autism diagnosis, I felt a little bit embarrassed but the more I learn, the more I understand that it is nothing to feel ashamed of and I shouldn’t try and hide it. We need to do much more to ensure autistic people are understood and included at work, as well as in social circles.
In my experience, GP services don’t really support people like me who are diagnosed with autism in adult life. I was lucky to receive some short-term post diagnosis support from my local Autism Spectrum Conditions Support Team, who provided my diagnosis. There may be more services available for young people, but I found it becomes increasing more difficult to find long-term support as an adult. It made a huge difference to me, to be introduced to a supportive community, with plenty of resources that would help me learn more.
This has given me the confidence to be even more honest and open and share my diagnosis with family, friends and engineering colleagues.