Autism

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
Got a 15 year old lad coming to us for a weeks work experience who has mild autism. Something I know very little about. Any pointers or suggestions as to what considerations we need to have in mind? As far as I’m concerned everyone is treated equally but it would be good to know if we should be making any sort of allowances for him.
 

WASP

Member
Location
Rutland
There are dustmen and scientists on the 'normal' spectrum and you get the same range on the autism spectrum...very much depends on the individual in question, you're going to need to speak to those that already know the person in detail first. They often have some very specific requirements you must / mustn't do with them to avoid issues.
I have 2 in my close family and both very genuine people but totally different to each other, what works for one doesn't the other.
 

onesiedale

Member
Location
Derbyshire
I wouldn't rely too much on any help from the school. Go with your instincts once you have met the lad. If he is coming for work experience make sure you have in your mind some plans of stuff that can be done WITH him. Don't just give him a job to do and leave him. Always have a plan B as well in case things don't go to plan. Sometimes good to get a job planned that you've been putting off for a while but which you could use an extra pair of hands. Fencing, painting pressure washing always work well.
Our latest work experience came to us last September (1 day/week through term time) as a very shy and unstable vegan teenage girl who clearly has issues with self harming. School basically dumped her on us. However, the reward to us has been to see that we have made a difference to her life now. She smiles, she's happy and self confident. She engages in conversation and is no longer a vegan! One thing for sure, she has been better off with us than in 'the system'
Good luck!
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
School should be helping you do a full risk assessment before he comes. Read it and follow it. Also speak to your insurers to make sure they are on board and do anything they ask you to.

With respect, and I appreciate you like your written risk assessments, school assessments are extremely hit & miss when it comes to Autism.

There are so many levels on the ‘spectrum’ that it’s not really possible, or fair, to fit anyone in a box ime. Many autistic children are extremely high functioning individuals, but sadly let down by the system.
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
With respect, and I appreciate you like your written risk assessments, school assessments are extremely hit & miss when it comes to Autism.

There are so many levels on the ‘spectrum’ that it’s not really possible, or fair, to fit anyone in a box ime. Many autistic children are extremely high functioning individuals, but sadly let down by the system.

Agreed re autism and boxes - I know and work with plenty. But the comment on risk assessment was intended to both provide that bespoke knowledge for the individual and also to keep the OP out of jail, should the worst happen.
 
Location
Devon
Given that it is described as 'mild' and they haven't felt it necessary to brief you, I think you should be safe to treat them like any 15 year old.
You may just need to prepared for circumstances to arise where you may be privately wondering 'wtf is their problem' and you will know. It is often just an obsession over a particular detail or a slightly disconcerting aloofness.
 

Cowmansam

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Shropshire
Good friend of mine is autistic isn’t good with people has a very abrupt manner if you don’t know better would think it rude but his attention to detail is unbelievable and some of the things he can do are amazing can look at a flock of sheep or herd of cows in one glance tell you exactly how many is there will be right every time one glance and can tell you theres 523 cows in the collection yard works as a game keeper can pick out a bent bit of grass and knows what’s gone on what animals have gone where
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
If this is an organised work placement you should get a lead in statement from the organiser. As a skilled operative with the council I was asked to take on a lad two days a week who was differently able and was given a detailed written report stating abilities, forbidden practises regarding certain tools and behaviours and exactly how my work mate was to be given instructions and even details on the correct way to address any untowards behavior or work failings. He was a star but took everything literally, jokes had to be very well considered or he took off the cuff remarks to be an exact instruction.
Also note, folk with this condition are perfectly able to use this to their advantage, they have their moods, lazy side, perceptions of just/injust treatment the same as anybody else and if you mess with them they may know they have you over a barrel. If you behave well towards them they might just be your best asset and become a very good friend.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.



I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
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