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Celebrating Autism Awareness Week

For Autism Awareness Week we sat down (virtually) with one of our staff members, Ben, to talk about his experience as someone with autism.

image shows a man smiling whilst playing pool

When did you know you had autism?

I first heard the word when I was diagnosed at nine years old. I was one of the first people who was diagnosed as having autism in the country in 1993.

How has autism been a challenge?

I believe that it was very helpful for me to be diagnosed at such a young age. I was able to grow up with autism and turn out as an adult who is comfortable living with it and is not ashamed of it.

What would you say to people that don’t know anything about autism?

I would suggest to others that they treat people with autism with respect, and know that people with autism aren’t stupid; people don’t understand how clever and independent people with autism can be!

Is it important to you for people to know more about autism?

Yes it is. The reason I wanted to join Certitude was so I could show people on the autistic spectrum and the general public that people with autism can do and achieve anything.

What are some of the things that make you proud to have autism?

I believe that people with autism have a great attention to detail, are great with numbers and have a great interest in many topics. It makes me open-minded and has also gifted me with a great imagination! I think that is something people should celebrate about autism more often.

How do you feel best supported at work?

As long as I am given the freedom to try new things and don’t feel I am spoken down to, I am pretty easy to work with!

Is there anything you have wanted to do that you haven’t got around to yet? Any big goals?

Well, I have already married, moved out of my mother’s house and started a podcast with my friends… Maybe having a child, starting a Certitude podcast and hopefully installing a work support program for the people we support here at Certitude. I am also looking forward to writing more blog posts for Certitude’s website!

Anything else you would like to add?

I am so happy that I have a job where I am excited every day to come into work with a smile. The workforce here is really great – everyone is great to each other.
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