The DWP Autism Guide

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this guide is also applicable to other institutions that claim authority through the threat of torture, violence or starvation.

Hi. My name is Kris. I am a late diagnosis autist with special powers. This document is the result of many years of misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding my words and actions. My personal problems mainly stem around communication, sensory noise issues and PDA.

Discrimination against autists is rampant at all levels. Nobody even knows what autism is and nobody gives a fuck. A diagnosis is just a ticket to more demands you don’t want. Try and get help they tell you. You later find that help doesn’t exist. Whether diagnosed or not, as an autistic you are more at risk of violence, being locked up or even sectioned for simply being autistic. So-called high-functioning autistics are 9x more likely to commit suicide.

Reading the autistic communities horror stories about untrained police locking up autistic people and the DVLA fining you £1000 if you don’t tell them you are autistic was my first experience of post-diagnosis life.

When I hit rock bottom for the 1000th time, I finally asked for help from the doctor. They treated me in such an appalling manner it caused a meltdown (with additional throat cancer anxiety). I thought the PIP benefit system was the way I would finally get to see someone who properly knew what they were on about. I was sure once I detailed my symptoms they would notice there was definitely something wrong and get me straight onto a professional psychologist. The ten page document I wrote never even came out of my pocket. This is what happened. I was so incensed I uploaded the recording. It caused a news article: *facepalm

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/atos-threatens-to-call-police-after-claimant-questions-pip-assessors-mental-health-training/

I later learned there are no doctors at PIP. They call them ‘health professionals’ now which could basically mean you are seeing a failed physiotherapist about autism, which I would call criminally negligent. This is not an exaggerated metaphor, this is an actual real-world example from one of the 100’s of horror stories I have heard since sharing the recording of Atos.

Your mental state examination showed you had a normal facial expression.

Independent Assessment Services (PIP) special X-Ray mental health scan

This would be absolutely hilarious if it wasn’t me they were talking about. As part of a Mitchell and Webb sketch I can really see it working.

So in short: no. help. whatsoever.

In the short time I have been diagnosed I have noticed similarities in traits, thought processes and problems with other autistic people on the internet. These seem to vary in many ways across the ‘spectrum’ but here are some points I noticed in other autistics that it is important the DWP and the neuro-typical in general understands and it will lead to greater harmony between us. And the eventual destruction of your kind. Just Kidding.

  • heightened sensitivity, be it by touch, observation, sound, light etc.
  • we have a fundamental need to speak our authentic truth / be our true selves.
  • principled, hatred of injustice.
  • we don’t like liars.
  • preference for routine, we do not like change. change can be a big thing.
  • we do not have a ‘look’
  • how we appear externally may not necessarily reflect how we feel internally. You may not judge our anxiety from our external appearance.
  • problems with sleep, which cannot be underestimated in terms of mental health and trigger all sorts of horrible feelings. The other problems these trigger are not part of autism.
  • heightened anxiety with a low bar to meltdown.
  • some people report feeling ‘psychic’ or ‘hyper-sensitive’ to peoples thoughts and feelings
  • we generally seem to like quiet, and sounds disturb us in a way which don’t disturb NT’s.
  • other sensory issues which give non-neurotypical results
  • some report a deep and long standing distrust and hatred of authority or being told what to do
  • a dislike of illogical rules
  • a dislike of being patronised or talked down to, especially when we are higher IQ than the person talking down to us.
  • a great frustration at inability to get a point across – not being understood or listened to is a major trigger and can lead to panic.
  • inability to smoothly navigate the NT world or understand yourself causes anxiety, now discounted by the DWP as ‘inconsequential’ ‘because everyone experiences anxiety’. this is proof that the DWP is institutionally discriminate against autists.
  • i personally *really* don’t like sharing my confidential medical stuff with someone who doesn’t know anything about psychology or medicine and has no interest in helping me.
  • a lot of us get extremely anxious about receiving letters, phone calls and appointments in general
  • burnout from masking
  • a lot of us have high IQ
  • we have limited interests and obsessions
  • our teeth are commonly shit
  • good at large tasks and fuzzy information processing
  • a deep focus (hyper-focus), to the detriment of other areas of our lives
  • some of us say we think we are slightly psychic
  • we want to know how the brain works so that we can process our own ways of thinking, partly to be able to succinctly express those pathways to NTs
  • i and others have certain OCD like behaviours that slow down our ability to interact with the world, in order to complete tasks i sometimes have to rev up for weeks just to look at the task. if the task involves too much stress, repetitive action or some other trigger, the likelihood is the task will not be done at all. This is called autistic inertia.
  • we use *different* systems of thinking and thought mechanisms, eg. i do not normally use capital letters or punctuation in my typing to increase the speed of my typing as the shift key interrupts my flow of thought. sometimes if i am writing a formal article i will correct that afterwards.
  • its common for us to have a deep affinity with animals and nature.

When we encounter these problems, it is not merely a case of something we don’t like a bit, like an NT preference, the anxiety we face is NOTHING LIKE YOURS, it is all-encompassing and precludes a normal existence. To say it is like yours is discrimination. The psychologist described it like living on an ‘anxiety scale’, you are OK when you are lower down the scale, but when it hits the top the inevitable meltdowns occur.

A meltdown is what happens when you hit the top of the anxiety scale. Some of the problems listed above drive us further up this scale in different ways according to different people. Meltdowns are expressed in different ways which may appear as confrontational or challenging behaviours to the neuro-typical / non-autistic person. These are in fact, defensive, reactive behaviours due to our sensory environment, social interaction, anxiety and past experiences. Once a Meltdown occurs, altho some autists may have specific ways to exit, the event itself is immutable. The NT mind and corporate world is seemingly unable to cope in any way at all with Meltdowns and seems to deliberately want to cause them. We would like this to stop please.

By understanding how it is triggered, you can understand the behaviour and react accordingly. Increasing the pressure on an autist, using force or pushing the issue is the very very very very last thing you should do, especially during a Meltdown.

Increasingly it seems expressions of emotion are penalised and using swear words (common emotive words) can be filed under ‘aggressive’, ‘threatening’ or even ‘violent’ by the state. Take my example; After what I would call two years of just plain torture, I called the DWP Nazis and swore by typing letters into my keyboard via a script which repeated it around and around. This shows how rubbish their web application is but never mind that.

This behaviour is not extreme frustration at years of torture but is now re-branded as ‘violent’ in order to drive profits. When I now visit the DWP I have to be behind a glass screen like an accused murderer. Its a petty act and not particularly compatible with an anxiety-based illness as it just increases the likelihood of more Meltdown and similar behaviour.

The DWP followed that up with a letter containing a threat of litigation against my disability saying it would cost me at least 5k in legal costs if I didn’t stop being autistic. This is also not ideal anxiety wise for the autist, but I am willing to attempt to prove in court that the current ideology of the right wing is so similar to Nazism as to be worthy of assuming the name. Even the current geopolitical and economic situation is quite similar to the 1940’s.

Because saying the word fuck is much worse than acting out the word Nazi

my best mate

Conversely if the state fails in its duty of care to the people, there is no database box which we can tick to penalise it. not even the voting system which is being tirelessly manipulated by our press and god knows what external and internal interests. not even if it completely ignores our cries for help, not even if it starves and kills us, not even if it breaks all criminal and moral laws to do so, not even if it is slated by the UN, not even if it is held in contempt of parliament, not even if it tanks the entire country. no. come. back. whatsoever.

The world is designed mostly by business, with the increasing pressure to ‘corporatise’ existence now valuing profit over human life and with outrageous cuts and a shift to a database driven environment that limits human behaviour to an extremely narrow band of neuro-typical reactions. This discriminates against autists, seeing as their brains do not work in the same way as the people responsible for making this abomination of a system. It seems the word ‘neuro-typical’ was invented simply because people are so bigoted they have to create a whole special word to remind them not to be.

Autistic people with well-developed masks may do better in certain situations compared to autistics without masking skills. Still, masking may come with a heavy cost, leading to physical exhaustion, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and burnout. The mask can breed self-loathing, leading the wearer to believe the unmasked person is somehow damaged, flawed, or broken.

Christa Holmans – Neurodivergent Rebel

There is a total lack of training on autism pretty much everywhere and we are a significant portion of the population :/ I have highly developed masks for different situations. Using them is boring. I prefer to be myself.

One fascinating consequence of my identification as an autistic person is that I can now tell when I’m launching into social adaptations that go beyond the me I’m more comfortable with. There must be shades of masking, gradations if you will. Some late diagnosed autistic writers I’ve encountered (via blogging) write about the difficulty in knowing where the line is between the adaptations they’ve learned and the ‘authentic self’. Articulate and deeply intelligent beings they often conclude that there is no such line.

Sonia Boue

The word ‘actually’ (as in the #actuallyautistic tag on twitter) is used by autists because people keep mistaking us for and treating us the same as NT’s. it means YES our brains are actually different to yours. In some ways they are better, but they are terrible at navigating the world made by your brains. In some ways the world you have created is diametrically opposed to how we are. the constant demands are particularly difficult as many of us experience PDA and have difficultly with the large amounts of petty and meaningless tasks that are part of normal modern living and don’t even need to exist.

What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.

Temple Grandin

I could take many examples, from the NHS, private companies mental health assessments, there are numerous cases of abuse, far too many to list here. Most of the examples could be perhaps summarised by a failure to conform to current discriminatory and criminal law and a deep disdain for human life over profit. Treating humans as corporate SQL database entries is in my opinion not an avenue we should be travelling down. The PIP and other government assessments do not cater for autists at all and are criminally negligent.

This all boils down to the fact that at some point someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea to apply the working principles of large corporations to human beings, What has resulted is a devastating catastrophe that is killing many people and shames the UK. Lets stop doing that.

» rant » The DWP Autism Guide

05/08/2019

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