Hannah

HannahI am 19 years old and I have Aspergers Syndrome. I always found mainstream school hard, I had support in place but was never really told about what job opportunities would be available for me when I left. I left school with 6 A's and 2 C's and a BTEC First Diploma in Health and Social Care.

My university experience

I continued my education at college where I also struggled and was under a lot of pressure to attend university like my peers, but I knew I would struggle. However, I left with a BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social Care at grade distinction star - something I am very proud of and have always wanted a career in, despite being sure I'd never manage. I applied to do an access to healthcare course which would prepare me for university life but I didn't cope very well so I left.

Getting a job

I was desperate to look for work, as everyone else in my year group had a job and I was jealous as I thought it'd be something I'd never do. I started looking for work and came across an advert for a cleaner in a care home. I applied, and in the application I mentioned I had Aspergers Syndrome (with much reluctance). I was called for an interview, and to my shock I wasn't offered the job, I was offered a job as a carer instead.

My supportive workplace

I was the happiest person ever, and since then I have liked my job. My colleagues and manager are aware of my difficulties and let me have time out/fresh air whenever I like. At first I found it so hard to make conversation with people but I now know how to talk to the clients and they like me. I am the youngest in the care home and the support they have given me has been great. Although I know it is not always the case with employers. I am aware of many not interested in employees with Aspergers Syndrome or Autism, but I have been lucky. I may not have the social skills like others do, but people with AS have just as much employability as anyone else. I just wish anyone else in my position the luck I have had.

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If you want to share your story, please email Anabel Unity Sale, Press and PR Officer: ausale@ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk