Sunday, March 16, 2008

The NAS is recruiting

I make no apologies for cutting and pasting this ad from the NAS site wholesale. I have only edited the style of one paragraph in order that it will stand out more clearly. If you read the para I have highlighted, you will see what makes the NAS so different from ASA, Autism speaks or the Autism society of Canada.

This is a job with great opportunities for one of us to do something about autism, where it matters, so here goes .....

Policy and Parliamentary Officer (Equality and financial security)

  • Salary: £26,289 - £30,730
  • Based in London

The National Autistic Society is the UKs leading charity for people affected by autism. Our ambition is to end the isolation of over two million people in the UK whose lives are touched by autism.

Working as part of a growing and dynamic team, you will lead on influencing government policy and legislation in the fields of employment, benefits, human rights and justice to promote the interests of people living with autism.

For an information pack please contact the Recruitment Team on 020 7903 3572 or email stating in which format you would like to receive your pack electronically or via post. Alternatively, download a job description and application form below.

Applications are sought from all suitably qualified sections of the community but particularly welcome from those with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome.

Closing date for applications: Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Interview date: Thursday, 3 April 2008

Committed to Equal Opportunities & Investors in People.
Registered Charity No. 269425.


David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

Interesting that a dx on the spectrum is seen as an entry qualitication.

The only plcaes I've seen that:

1) University of Birmingham
2) National Autistic Society

Says a fucking shitload, doesn't it?

Foresam said...

So I should be all set with my diagnosis of Asperger's, subset Obsessive Golfing Fixation, right?

Tell them I'll take the job if I can do it from here, I don't want to miss baseball season.

laurentius rex said...

Well it might interest you to know that our retiring CEO was presented with a set of golf clubs recently.

However a fanatical devotion to baseball won't go down so well. In my experience you would do better if Rugby were your game.

A couple of years ago the start of the AGM was delayed so that we could watch England win the World Cup.

laurentius rex said...

Well folks the deadline has expired and I have not even put in an application myself.

To be honest I am notaltogether happy with the extent of NAS advertising for this, which was why I put it on my blog.

Whilst the spirit may be willing I think the flesh is a little weak and there has to be more effort taken in terms of positively "headhunting" suitable autistic applicants for this and other posts for reasons I may cover on a later blog.

Autism Reality NB said...

Laurentius how do you feel about having different categories of autism dx as entry qualifications? Maybe a position for Aspergers and high functioning persons with various autism spectrum disorders and another for low functioning, non verbal, intellectually challenged persons with Autism Disorder?

That way your perspectives and biases would not be presumed to represent the realities of life for the many low functioning persons with Autism Disorder who are not as fortunate as you?

laurentius rex said...

Mr Doherty, you are presuming I have a bias, whereas in terms of my work on the NAS I do not. If you knew the least bit about the work of the NAS, and the things I have said on the board and Council you would realise that the NAS is there to serve all autistic people and not leave any behind.

Autism Reality NB said...

Yes Laurentius Rex I am assuming you have a bias. I am basing my assumption on your own logic, that a "spectrum" dx should be a job qualification for jobs with Autism Societies. Based on that logic then you, who have obvious and substantial intellectual and linguistic abilities, would have a different perspective than those with different diagnoses than yours, and different consequences of their diagnoses.

Surely the many people with severe Autism Disorder, who lack your impressive linguistic and intellectual gifts must have different perspectives and concerns than you, and you than they? And therefore different biases?

I am the father of a boy with Autism Disorder, assessed with profound developmental "delay". Apart from your gifts, you will not live a life as dependent on the care of others as he will. Surely you have a different life situation and considering your dx or identity job qualifications no right to represent his interests?

You are aware that the "spectrum" is actually the "PDD spectrum", not the "autism spectrum" aren't you? See:

"The manual used by physicians and mental health professionals as a guide to diagnosing disorders is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM was last revised in 1994. In this latest revision, known as the DSM-IV, five disorders are identified under the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders: (1) Autistic Disorder, (2) Rett's Disorder, (3) Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, (4) Asperger's Disorder, and (5) Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, or PDDNOS. (Editor's note in 2003: The current version of the DSM is the DSM-IV-TR, published in 2000. The categorization of PDD that is described in this Briefing Paper has not changed.)"

laurentius rex said...

Oh Mr Doherty, what shall we do with you?

To begin with there is more than one set of criteria for spectrum diagnoses, have you never heard of ICD 10 notwithstanding that DSM is subject to revision and I am using a term and a concept introduced by Lorna Wing, who commands my considerable respect in such matters of scholarship?

As to the decision regarding a diagnosis being a recommendation for employment, this is a decision that was ultimately taken by the whole Board whose members include parents of people who do not have as you say my intellectual abilities, so I think there was a persuasive argument for this. One indeed that the retiring CEO has spoken on at the AGM no less to an audience including people in the same position as yourself.

I am glad that I am part of a society that is much more tolerant than your own in Canada.

Who do you think voted me into position? I had to convince a very varied constituency, one which has since returned no less than six of us to the Council.

laurentius rex said...

Another you will never understand is that my right comes from having the same underlying perceptual and sensory neurological substrates that give rise to what is called autism, and that is not something whose severity diminishes with intellectual capability.

I think in general given my own fixations, behaviours and traits I have a great deal more understanding than someone who reasons from the outside not from within.

One of the things I have learned from studying autism under proper supervision at a post graduate level (before you try to disparage me as a dilettante) is from that knowledge just how autistic I am.

Would you say to David Blunkett, that he is less blind than someone without his resources who lives in residential care?

No, your argument makes no sense, you are singling out an argument for autism that is not based on autism per se, but on other factors.