Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Sleep issues and employment

For a very long time I have usually woken up feeling tired and sleep-deprived. I have been to the doctor several times and had all the usual blood tests taken including iron and thyroid function however these came back as normal. Recently I went to the doctor and suggested that I would like to get a sleep study test done as the other tests did not pick up on any abnormalities. When the results came back they suggested that I had a case of mild sleep apnea. The good news is that mild sleep apnea is often treated effectively by ensuring lateral sleep (sleeping on their side) is effectively maintained.

I have found in the past that these issues of not obtaining restorative sleep have majorly effected my performance at work. Compounding this issue is the fact that i consumed a large amount of caffeine to try and offset the affects of my lack of sleep. I often found that no matter how much caffeine I took I was not able to concentrate to a level that I could reach my full potential.

Up until recently I have still been taking caffeine however a few weeks ago I decided that I should give up caffeine because it was making me feel anxious, nauseous, affecting my sleep and made me feel generally unwell most of the time. I had come to realise that it did not help me function better and that it would be beneficial for my overall health to overcome my dependance on caffeine.

The method that I found effective was to reduce my caffeine gradually and put time aside to recover from the withdrawal symptoms which can include headaches, drowsiness, and nausea. I found that after gradually reducing my caffeine I was able to become independent from caffeine after a week of following a strict reduction of intake plan.

What I have found after becoming independent from caffeine is that my sleep quality has improved, I do not have nearly as much anxiety symptoms such as racing heart or trembling hands and I do not have nearly as many tension headaches as I did before.

Another thing that I found that has helped me get out of bed easier in the morning is maintaining a sleep routine. I find that if I go to bed and wake at around the same time everyday that my body is more naturally inclined to wake up at the time I need to get up therefore making it a lot easier to wake up. 

All in all after practicing good sleep hygiene I am starting to feel better. I do go through days where I feel I need caffeine and I do have days where I feel like i need a sleep during the day but I ussually avoid these urges and they are becoming few and far between.

I have some night work coming up so hopefully I will be able to keep my sleeping habits healthy to ensure that I am able to stay alert for work!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Exploring avenues of entering employment

Today both Garry and I contacted Blue Jay. Blue Jay Foundation supports paid work experience for people with Asperger's Syndrome. We are involved in Autism Advocacy and are especially interested in gaining meaningful employment for those who are on the Autism Spectrum.

In our Autism Advocacy work we focus on the abilities and strengths as we believe that these out-way the difficulties that Aspies face. We are currently investigating options and opportunities to find suitable employment for Aspies that are looking and willing to work.

Other ways we are looking to assist other Aspies in the social group that I am involved in include providing access to reliable and accurate information that will assist Aspies that are looking for work. We also want to assist Aspies in the interview process and we intend to provide them with interview training sessions, and self esteem raising exercises. We believe that it is important to hone in on these skills to increase the chances of Adults gaining employment and this will in turn  increase their quality of life both financially and socially.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

An insight into the challenges of gaining employment.

I begin this blog by writing a post about employment as an adult on the Autism Spectrum.  Recently I have completed a Certificate in Mental Health First Aid. I believe that this is important for everyone to do this course as 1 in 5 Australians will have a mental illness¹.   In a couple of weeks I commence a job in a retail outlet. I haven't been working since the start of the year, so starting this job will be a challenge.  The job is roughly for 6 weeks and I am hoping to move to Brisbane to assist with the adult group there run by another Aspie Garry Burge.

 I believe I have determination and am reliable with several courses I have completed. I have also run my own business and have self determination.

Time management is something which I adhere to and believe is important within a work environment.  By reading this blog it is my intention to assist other adults like myself to better grasp the employment process.  It is also hoped that I can demonstrate that it is possible for an Aspie with positive attributes like my own to gain a foot into meaningful employment

I know that obtaining employment can be difficult but not impossible and if the right approach is taken which I demonstrate, then a positive future may exist for other adults on the Autism Spectrum.

What would be good to see is a means of providing support and assistance for adults on the Autism Spectrum to obtain employment.  In my own situation I have a strong commitment to work but what I find difficult is the application process as tends to focus more on social ability more so than practical skills and performance.
Breaking free of the barriers of employment