My name is Sarah and I am 37 years old. I am autistic and have ADHD, Dyslexia, as well as a number of other diagnoses. Most people when they meet me don’t believe I am any of my diagnoses and this can cause me to come across many challenges in my life.
I have a degree and a masters degree which should mean I am able to function the same as everyone else according to society. However, there are many things I need help with and a lot of these are down to the way communication is used in our world. For example, a lot of companies require us to call them to make appointments or change something on our plan or even apply for financial support. As a person who does tend to communicate a lot verbally you would think that this means the phone is easy for me yeah? Well it is not! Not only do I not know if someone is genuine from the tone of their voice, I also struggle to remember what has been said in a phone call. These both cause issues where I feel the advisor on the other side may be being rude to me or I have to ask for a follow up email after every interaction. Although these might not seem big issues to most people they are for me and mean that it takes a long time for me to feel comfortable to phone somewhere, mostly choosing to avoid it completely and sending an email instead.
As a parent communicating clearly to schools is incredibly important as it is not just my well being I need to look out for but also my sons. Schools can make this difficult and my hope is to one day be able to make the change that supports many other autistic parents like me find their voice easier. There are many different interventions that can be used to support people like me, some as easy as using email instead of calls, which Communication Inclusion People are spreading the awareness of. The amazing work they are doing will hopefully cut down some more barriers to communication for others like me so that there can be more collaboration with us in the future!