Acceptance and Awareness, Adulting, Dignity & Respect, Employment, Equality, Independence

Adulting: Disability as an Excuse

Growing up and becoming a young man, oftentimes when I wanted to get out of something, I wanted to use one of my ailments as an excuse as a way to get out of it. While some things because of my autism or mental health challenges are at times challenging, sometimes I need to experience them and not play the “card” as a crutch to get out of something. This can be difficult because when thinking independently, it can be hard to make these decisions.

One thing that COVID has taught me is to fight for what I need and not to be crutched by my autism and do what I need to do and not use disability as an excuse. I know my limits and things I know I am capable of doing shouldn’t be discounted by using an excuse by not doing them.  If I had used my disability as an excuse 18 years ago, I would have never left under my parents’ home. They have encouraged me all my life to not use my disability as an excuse and do something with my life, whatever I want to, but I have to do something.

With that being said, I have found myself very fortunate with the job that I have had for 11 years. It, by luck was handed to me by fate. At the time, I had no intention of working. At times when in the early years, it was a challenge to get through a simple three-hours shift. Now, I can get through a several hour shift a few days a week without ease. I am not chronically not calling off, I am often showing up to work and punctual in fact.

However, there are many autistics along with those with mental health challenges that do not know their limits when working jobs to the fact specifically when working frontline jobs where there are social situations abound that cause increased anxiety and verges on the point of breakdown such as the video below.

In a way this is sad because this young man has reached his breaking point and as the recorder antagonizes him lashes out by smacking the monitor, himself, them the monitor. THEN , he states that the customer (recorder) has ruined his life. The author of this video has made it clear that while that may be true, the individual had done nothing to call out the recorder in a ill way, and that if he had kept his cool that he would have been OK. However, he clearly states that he has a mental health challenge and states that the recorder/customer has “ruined his life.” While the individual may think so, if he wouldn’t have used the crutch as a cop out and reacted as unprofessional as he did, he could had of got out of the situation he did as unscarred and moved on with his life.

This is a proven fact that the front desk clerk had a job that wasn’t compatible to his mental health challenges. Yes there are times everyone breaks down. But, if you know that frontline working with the public is a challenge for your mentality, then you should attempt to be employed with something that involves little customer interaction. My position involves interaction with individuals, however I have built up the confidence over the years with the ability to perform the job to the ability. My employer understands my needs and works with them as needed. Yes, of course fight for accomodations as necessary as you have the right for them when reasonable as the law allows, because in fact they are reasonable. However, when you lame yourself down to the fact that you stoop down your capability because you want to get out of something because you just don’t want to do it, it puts at shame the individuals that are truly in need of reasonable accommodations and fight tooth and nail to get them. When they do not, the individual at need is failing at performing at their maximum potential and has a cause for the employer to not see their need and end their relationship with them.

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