Offices Services Officer Rachel tells us what her job role entails and what support she needs. Rachel struggled with anxiety attacks on a daily basis until she started receiving regular support from a support worker to combat anxiety in the workplace. She works at Notting Hill Housing Group (NHH).

How long have you been in work?

I have been working since October 2009 and started at Notting Hill in September 2011, five years ago.

When did you receive your diagnosis?

I received my diagnosis when I was about ten, so in 1996. I have the benefit of a relatively early diagnosis which gave people more time to understand my condition and its effects.

What events led to you having contact with The National Autistic Society about work?

It was shortly after I started at NHH in November 2011 that The National Autistic Soceity was contacted. They were contacted by NHH after it became clear I was not coping and required support. By not coping, I mean that I was having anxiety attacks on a daily basis.

Rachel talks to us about her job

What services have you received from our charity and how have they benefited you?

I have a support worker who comes in for one hour a week to discuss any issues with me and my manager. This helps as the support worker uses her expertise to advise me how I can deal with problems better, and has helped with tools to combat my anxiety. The National Autistic Society has also provided training to myself my colleagues and my manager which has helped us to improve our understanding of autism in the workplace all round.

Do you feel that raising awareness and understanding of autism among your colleagues and managers has helped you?  If so, how?

I do, because it means that my team know that I am not just acting up. I do have a condition and that is why I behave as I do. They know what to expect and this has helped my manager and I to put in place a clear procedure for when I do feel anxious. This means that I can quickly recover and the impact on my work and team of my autism is reduced.

What strengths can you bring to the workplace? Please tell us about any achievements.

Attention to detail, ability to seek use and evaluate information. This enables me to consistently process invoices and spot any irregularity which has come through in my management of year end. I am also very punctual and reliable.

Are you autistic and enjoy your job? If you have a story you would like to share please contact Richmal.maybank@nas.org.uk.

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