But, you don't look Autistic

 

Rhiana Heppenstall

Tech Conf '23

3P Learning

If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.

Dr Stephen Shore

In the media

Possibly harmful sterotypes

Myth 1

Autistic people lack creativity/humour

Actually Autisic

Hannah Gadsby

Temple Grandin

Dan

Aykroyd

Actually Autisitc

Greta Thunburg

Anthony
Hopkins

Singer

Susan

Boyle

History of Autism

Looking back at the last 80 years

'43

First described as a high intelligence with emotional disturbance

'80

DSM-III

Changed to a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)

'13

DSM-V

ASD is combined with 3 levels of severity

'68

DSM-II
Added as a form of childhood schizophrenia

'94

DSM-IV

Split between Asperger's and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Levels

Social and communication challenges.

 

Can be independant but may take longer than peers.

1

Some Support

May speak in small sentences.

 

Narrow interest and repetative motions.

2

Substantial Support

Limited verbal and non-verbal communication.
 

Requires life time support.

3

Very Substantial Support

Myth 2

Autistic people can't feel empathy

Symptoms

What would your cat do?

  • High attention to detail
  • Very precise communication
  • Strong sense of loyalty and justice
  • Honesty

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Difficulties seeing
    "The Big Picture"
  • Difficulties "reading between the lines"
  • Hard time "putting themselves in someone elses shoes"
  1. Sense of identity
  2. Family medical history
  3. Specialised therapy access
    1. For ASD or co-diagnosis

Why get diagnosed?

What Causes Autism?

Theories

Myth 3

All autistic people are savants

Statistics Time!

Co-diagnosis %
Savant syndrome 1-10%
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 17%
Epilepsy 20%
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADD || ADHD)
30-50%
Intellectual Disability 56%
Gastrointestinal symptoms 80%
Depression 80%

Myth 4

Autism is a "boys" disorder

Excluding girls and women from this kind of research study can lead to treatments that don’t work as well for them, and it contributes to the perception that autism doesn’t affect women as much as men

Anne Trafton

  • Diagnosed at a higher rate 4:1
  • 1-2 special interest topics
  • Later speech devepment

Men

Women

  • Under, incorrectly and diagnosed later
  • Various special interest topics
  • Average to advanced language skills
  • Avid readers
  • More likely to mimic to try and fit in

How to Help?

Ourselves and others

Treatments

Type Efficacy
Medication No specific medication avaliable
"Growing out of it" Lifetime condition
Therapies Occupational, speech & other therapies can help
Early intervention Early detection + therapy = Best outcomes

The unemployment rate in Australia for autistic people is 34.1%...

This is almost eight times the rate of people without disability (4.6%).

Organisations

Autism Speaks

Government funding providers

NDIS

Government support

LIES!!!!

Myth 5

Autistic people are anti-social

  • Inclusive hiring and interview procedures
  • Offer flexible working conditions
    • WFH + Office combinations
  • Document specific duties and
    on-boarding procedure

Workplace Considerations

Before Hiring

Inclusive Interviews

Carefully seperate the "must have" from the "nice to have"

Be explicit in describing attributes.

1

Ad Criteria

Internal training on diveristy and unconscious bias.

 

Promote diversity in your orginisation. 

2

Train the team

Have a mix of assessments, informal chats and activities.

 

Provide interview details ahead of time.

3

Rethink the process

  • Predictable routines and schedules
  • Career mentoring
  • Clear communication
    • Written where possible
  • Optional social obligations

Workplace Considerations

After Hiring

Mentoring

Having a frequent, regularly scheduled meeting.

 

Allowing response time.

1

Time

Sensory friendly meeting space.

 

Quiet with gentle lighting.

2

Space

Building a rapport.

 

Listening and coming up with individual solutions.

3

Support

Autistic Burnout

Caused by trying to fit in without support and accomodations

Masking

  • Fit in more with peers
  • Better job opportunities
  • Decrease risk of being bullied 

Masking Side Effects

  • Very tiring
  • Risk of burnout
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Poor self image

Make accomodations,

not assumptions

Thank You!

Questions?

Contacts

But you don't look autistic

By RhianaH

But you don't look autistic

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