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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
       
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
       
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
       
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
       
      In the third call the mediator said that they would offer the full amount. However, he said that Hermes still thought that I should have taken the case against Packlink instead, and that they would try to recover the court costs themselves from Packlink.
       
      To be fair to them, if Packlink wasn't based in Spain I would've made the claim against them instead. But since they are overseas and the law lets me take action against Hermes directly, it's the best way of trying to recover the money.
       
      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
       
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
       
       
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    • Hermes and mediation hints. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428981-hermes-and-mediation-hints/&do=findComment&comment=5080003
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Hi all, I am going to be completely honest here.

 

I work at a call centre which was recently taken over by a bigger company. Since then, the sickness policy has become tougher. I have aspergers, which was only recently diagnosed (unofficially), which explains the days where I was just too burnt out and fed up to go to work. This is regarded as "skiving" by others and, secretly, myself - someone who doesn't have aspergers will never understand this. :???: (Of course, there are odd occasions in the past where I was basically skiving.)

 

I have had so much genuine sickness lately - including vertigo and norovirus - and I was given a first written warning (a disciplinary) for my absence despite having a doctor's note. During my Google searches, nobody seems to agree whether or not this is legal.

 

Also I am risking a second written warning because I am likely to be snowed in tomorrow. We only have "snow days" when the employer decides. I live in a little village at the bottom of a very steep hill, and everyone else lives near major A-roads, so it's hardly likely we will get a "snow day".

 

What are my rights regarding dangerous weather? If I can't get in, should I take photos and video on my phone to prove it? As for the doctor's note, can they still discpline me after they knew I was sending one in? It was my doctor's suggestion that I be signed off, I did not ask for it, I just thought he would give me a bottle of jollop to stop my head from feeling like it was going to spin off my neck and fly away.

 

I know I kind of brought this on myself - but my team leader knows I am going to be diagnosed with aspergers and she says my employer cannot really do anything to help or support me, so I must face the same targets and working conditions as everyone else despite my specialised requirements.

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When people hear "disciplinary hearing for attendance" the assumption immediately is "the court is sitting and a judgement handed down". That is actually not quite correct. If you call in sick or are signed off by your GP it is not up to the company to judge whether this is genuine illness or not. However, the company is perfectly in their right to investigate absence if certain levels are reached. The triggers for that are determinded by the absence policy of your employer.

 

A hearing also investigates if there is any underlying issue or which steps can be taken (also from your employers side) to improve absence levels. Possible outcome could also be that your employer asks you to sign a medical consent form to obtain a medical report if there are indications for an underlying issue.

 

Sanctions are likely to happen if there are absence patterns, like always migraine on a Friday or food poisonning on a Monday etc or you have not taken reasonable and/or agreed actions to improve attendance.

 

And finally, if you are not happy with the outcome of this hearing, you have a right to appeal which then will be heard by a more senior manager. In your case you should speak preferably to HR or a more senior manager anyway as "same targets as everybody else" is absolute nonsense. Reading your post I believe it is more likely that you may suffer from a recognised condition where your employer has certain obligations.

 

You should have received an absence policy and guidelines with the invite.

 

As far as the snow scenario is concerned: if you can't make it in you can't make it in. This should not count towards your absence levels. However, this is - depending on company policy - either to be taken as annual leave or more likely time owed/to be made up.

Edited by JurgenMK
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Thanks for the reply. It makes a lot of sense. I'm going to speak to our in-house union reps on Monday about a possible appeal.

 

There are no patterns in my absence and this was not brought up in the meeting. I do have a record of poor attendance, but as stated above, I have particular requirements which are not and will never be met by this employer and these are responsible for some of my absences.

 

I take ownership of myself, and I do understand they have to bring absence under control - but I have been honest with them, asked them for help and they have refused to provide me with any support. In short, they are treating me like I am not autistic which simply does not work with someone who IS autistic or displays very strong characteristics of autism.

 

They are definitely holding me to the same targets as everyone else and they simply state that I am not currently diagnosed. (They probably need to phone Michael Fish to confirm it's snowing.) This simply creates a moebius loop of stress and worry which I am currently still having therapy to manage. They do know I am in therapy for aspergers.

 

You know, I could run rings round any of the managers at work if I had more confidence, but they simply present everything out of context and close down any lines of attack or defence that I try. From their point of view, motivation is solely my responsibility; hitting targets is solely my responsibility; I am unreasonable in expecting different treatment from everyone else. They know I am very intelligent and have extremely high capability, way higher than I could ever explore in this dead-end job, but all they do is stifle me and shut me down.

 

EDIT: In many ways my ability is what causes the problems, as they probably cannot understand why I am not smashing my targets and presumably think I am deliberately dragging my heels or acting out to cause trouble. Story of my life, it was the same in school.

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there are odd occasions in the past where I was basically skiving.)

 

If i was representing you i'd be explaining that you have painted a great big cross-hair on your back and until you go past your employers sickness time limits you are fair game to be taken though whatever stages of your sickness policy there are until dismissal

 

take it or leave it, i can offer no better advice, from what i've just skimmed of your post you are wide open, aspergers or not, for starters i've dealt with 3 bona fide aspergers cases and 2 were the first into work and the other a placement in my team and the guy was of the same ilk and also super enthusiastic, that said I'd never judge by my experience in this area but it does not mean your employers wouldn't

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No protection until you get your diagnosis so I'd be pushing hard for that.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Atlas - I said I was being honest here on this forum but I haven't said anything about skiving to my employers. That was a long time ago and wouldn't be relevant to now, apart from obviously removing some leeway for present-day absences since I missed the odd day here and there in 2011 and 2012.

 

I am not too sure how your post about aspergers is intended - it reads as if you doubt I have it. I can assure you that I either have it, or something that is so close it might as well be the same thing, and I will need to bear this in mind for the rest of my life. Not all aspies behave the same because our life experiences vary widely. I am 34 and it has only just been pointed out to me. They're now recognising it in infant and junior schools. That wasn't the case in my day - I was the "difficult child" who never lived up to his potential. Kind of what my current employers may believe.

 

I am going to push my doctor on Monday for a referral to St George's in Sheffield for diagnosis, but I am now facing new discrimination since aspergers will no longer be recognised from May onwards.

 

Hmm, I could write a drama about all this :p

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Are you interested in changing your behaviour in order to have fewer issues in the workplace? As in for example social behavior tuition to help you recognise signs of emotions in others?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Are you interested in changing your behaviour in order to have fewer issues in the workplace? As in for example social behavior tuition to help you recognise signs of emotions in others?

 

I take ownership of myself, and I do understand they have to bring absence under control - but I have been honest with them, asked them for help and they have refused to provide me with any support. (...) This simply creates a moebius loop of stress and worry which I am currently still having therapy to manage. They do know I am in therapy for aspergers.

 

I can only do so much. It often seems that the rest of the world should have therapy to understand my emotions. It seems that my employer does not want to claim any liability for my well-being at work and I do not feel they are living up to their duty of care in my case. They ask for me to hit targets and turn up for work and put sanctions in place if I fail to do so. I have been asking for their support and understanding in return and am simply told they cannot do anything.

 

As for today, I made the journey to work - many people didn't. My team leader says we can only use holidays for snow days if the employer declares it a snow day. If we are unable to get to work and call in before the employer has declared a snow day, it counts as an unpaid absence, even if they subsequently do declare a snow day. However, our intranet clearly states that we can take holidays or unpaid absence if we are unable to reach work due to weather. It does not mention snow days. This contradicts everything my team leader says.

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Your employer asks you to hit targets and turn up for work!!!!!! and what is more there was a bit of snow and you turned up!!!!! just because you may or may not have aspergers does not mean that you dont have to hit targets etc etc your employer has a job to be done why would he pay x amount for someone to do half a jo0b when he could pay the same amount to someone else and get the whole job done?

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I can only do so much. It often seems that the rest of the world should have therapy to understand my emotions.

 

So "no"?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I have a lot of sympathy with you. It sounds like management are trying to improve performance levels by pressurising employees, but they do not seem to be using common sense. Try not to take this too personally.

 

It is unfortunate that you got a written warning for genuine illness and I can see why this upsets you. It sounds like management do not believe you were really sick despite the doctor's note. However I think that situation is kind of your fault. In your own words, there were occasions when you didn't go to work because you were "fed up" and other occasions you were "basically skiving". This isn't really acceptable. I think you should treat the written warning as a warning for the times you were skiving rather than a warning for being genuinely sick. If you do not skive then management are more likely to believe you next time you are genuinely sick.

 

The snow is a difficult one. Normally I would say don't go in if it is dangerous. What your managers are saying contradicts company policy. However because you have had so many absences I think you should make every effort to go to work. If you make it in when others stay at home, that will look good on you. It will undo some of the damage which has been done to your reputation by the high number of absences.

 

I don't understand why your Aspergers is a problem here. The issues seem to be (1) skiving from work and (2) whether you can get in on snow days, which do not have a lot to do with your condition. If management think you are someone who tries their best they are much more likely to make adjustments for you. My advice would be to do your best to make it into work every day, always be on time, make it on snow days, and try your best. Management should then be more willing to listen to you because they will be able to see you are trying your best.

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So "no"?

You don't seem to be reading my posts. I am in therapy. I have been for nearly a year. What exactly is your point? Do you feel an autistic person should be measured to exactly the same standards as a non-autistic person? That might sound reasonable to someone with no experience of autism, but it's blinkered, old-fashioned and insulting, although I assume that wasn't your intention. EDIT: I assume it actually WAS your intention since no-one makes a childish post like that by accident.

 

Your employer asks you to hit targets and turn up for work!!!!!!

What exactly is your point? Do you know what aspergers and autism are? You don't seem to. When did I say I don't want to hit their targets? My point is I am too demotivated, demoralised and basically overwhelmed at the moment to make a decent show of hitting them, and I actually said this to my team leader and asked her for help.

 

and what is more there was a bit of snow and you turned up!!!!!

You know what really, really winds me up? When someone who probably lives off a main road five minutes from work, or lives in an area lightly dusted, gets on their high horse about "a bit of snow". Your first sentence and you've already struck two warning gongs!

 

just because you may or may not have aspergers does not mean that you dont have to hit targets etc etc your employer has a job to be done why would he pay x amount for someone to do half a jo0b when he could pay the same amount to someone else and get the whole job done?

I can't believe this! Are you discriminating against me on the basis that I am autistic, or because I am "less able" than someone who does not have aspergers? Kudos for daring to voice a politically-incorrect and downright insulting opinion. Assisted Blonde, perhaps someone should "assist" you to understand how real life works.

 

I KNOW they need me to hit targets, I said in my original post that due to my condition I am experiencing difficulties for which they provide NO assistance. In fact, their attitude is similar to yours in that it stinks.

 

However I think that situation is kind of your fault. In your own words, there were occasions when you didn't go to work because you were "fed up" and other occasions you were "basically skiving". This isn't really acceptable. I think you should treat the written warning as a warning for the times you were skiving rather than a warning for being genuinely sick. If you do not skive then management are more likely to believe you next time you are genuinely sick.

I need to clear this up. The "fed up" absences were when I felt utterly burned out, which is a symptom of aspergers. Imagine how you'd feel after you ran a marathon. Now imagine your body is physically fine, it's your brain that did the running. That is what I referred to as "fed up". I should not have used such a facile expression and it has led to a lot of misunderstanding on this forum.

 

I do accept that I have skived in the past (ie a year ago or more) and I accept that it has screwed me in the present. I am not a serial truant. If I wanted to become one, I wouldn't have started this thread.

 

As for turning up today when no-one else did, my team leader seemed thrilled that I'd battled to get in and made a point of telling people I had been the first one in. I love my t/l and it actually hurts me that I am not doing better for her, but I am who I am and I need help to make things better - help I am not getting. EDIT: I realise she made a bigger show of it than necessary to boost my morale. She is actually trying, bless her.

Edited by NoPoet
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1. I'm reading your posts, don't be so insulting! I can see you seeing a doctor, where do you say you are in therapy to help you deal with social cues? You're in therapy to deal with stress according to you. Not the same at all.

 

2. Aspergers is on the spectrum. That means not everyone with it will be the same and have the same symptoms. So it isn't reasonable to expect people to know exactly what yours are. Heck, you haven't even had a diagnosis yet, you may not have the condition! You may have something else.

 

3. You seem to just want a rant without taking on board other people's experience and opinions. That's totally fine, many people do, but it's better to say so in your opening post so people know what you are looking for.

 

Unless that isn't what you are looking for. In which case, what is it?

 

"Reasonable adjustments" MAY include flexitime (although that would be an unusual form of aspergers, being "too" on time is ore likely." There *may* be a higher trigger point for people with disabilities. Lower taregts are generally not considered reasonable, however.

 

So. What questions do you have for us?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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1. I'm reading your posts, don't be so insulting!

My apologies. I flew into a rage after reading Assisted Blonde's post and shouldn't have taken it out on you.

 

I can see you seeing a doctor, where do you say you are in therapy to help you deal with social cues? You're in therapy to deal with stress according to you. Not the same at all.

To clarify, I was initially seeing her for stress. She thought I was suffering from either major depressive disorder or generalised anxiety disorder, but after a few sessions we did a large number of tests in a two-hour session (which she gave me for free) and she strongly advised me to seek diagnosis for aspergers. Since we changed my therapy to modify my aspergers behaviour and control my brain (for want of a better way of putting it), the depression and anxiety symptoms have faded almost to nothing. However we have 34 years of incorrect behaviour to overcome. There is work to do.

 

2. Aspergers is on the spectrum. That means not everyone with it will be the same and have the same symptoms. So it isn't reasonable to expect people to know exactly what yours are. Heck, you haven't even had a diagnosis yet, you may not have the condition! You may have something else.

It's possible, since I used to think I had ADHD. Aspergers is often mis-diagnosed as ADHD. In fact, I think they're related. The problem is adults learn to cope with aspergers to some degree which makes it harder to diagnose. I highly doubt it is anything else than aspergers but even if it isn't, there is something challenging me.

 

You seem to just want a rant without taking on board other people's experience and opinions. That's totally fine, many people do, but it's better to say so in your opening post so people know what you are looking for.

Not true - some of the opinions stated in this thread totally devalue the impact my aspergers (or to be more precise at this point, my aspergers-type personality) is having on my life and others are pure discrimination. I admit I am angry and stressed about things, but I was hardly going to come here to seek advice if everything was roses, would I? :)

 

So. What questions do you have for us?

 

1. Can they give me a disciplinary if I have a sick note? I respect this one is tough to answer.

 

2. Dangerous weather attendance - I will seek guidance from my union on this one as it seems to depend on company rules rather than there being some general legal guideline.

 

EDIT: I know some of my words are harsh, I don't mean to be, I do respect those who are trying to help and I thank you for all of your comments that are intended to be supportive or constructive.

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1. Yes, they can. Attendance/ absence maagement policies assume all illnesses are genuine. If they think you are lying it'd be the conduct code instead.

 

2. Good plan.

 

I would also ask for an occupational health referal - by email so you have an audt trail.

 

One thing I do not understand is why you say from May aspergers will not be recognised. By whom? As far as I am aware the Equality Act definition of a disability is not changing (but I may be wrong)

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Thanks for your reply.

 

Their employment policy is harsh but it has to be with so many people ringing in sick all the time. I don't know what the absence figures are. I'm assuming it's as high as any call centre's, if not worse.

 

I never thought of occupational health. That's an excellent idea.

 

As for aspergers not being recognised, it will no longer be diagnosable from this May - it'll just be classed as autism rather than a diagnosable condition in its own right. I don't know exactly what the implications will be but it will probably make things tougher with regard to getting appropriate support. People think of autistics as those who are locked inside their own minds. I am loud, fast-thinking and enthusiastic. People are unlikely to think of me as autistic.

 

A question: why did you ask if I have had training in recognising the emotions of others? I never thought of that and am genuinely interested in your thoughts.

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the courses? Because it is something I have given staff time off for.

 

The definition of a disability is

 

"you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities." Usually 12 months plus.

 

From that viewpoint, apsergers or autism, doesn't matter what the name is. Occ Health could perhaps give yor employer a view on if it is serious enough to be regarded as a disability (and they will go on your replies to questions for that) and any adjustments that can be made. For stress or depression issues I usually try and get the manager to be trained in how to behave with someone who is stressed or depressed. Is there an aspergers or autism society that provides similar training for employers? It would be worth checking and suggesting it (via Occ Health!)

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi,

 

My depression and anxiety are linked to aspergers. I've done quite a bit of research on this. The theory is, anxiety is linked to my early childhood and my inability understand the world or to connect properly with other people. Depression is subtle and develops in response to a prolonged sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

 

For me, learning about aspergers and gradually modifying my unhelpful schemas (belief systems) has made a tremendous difference. I am now dysthymic rather than depressed as I am recovering and only experience symptoms as a response to prolonged stress.

 

Here is something which might help you if you deal with these types of employee. This is all my own research:

 

Depression and anxiety are misunderstood. A lot of people will be affected by them, so here is some hope. They are not "catching". They do not mean someone will be permanently ill or that their life is destroyed. They are defeatable without ever having to experience a relapse. In fact, a relapse probably means the person hadn't actually recovered or had not developed appropriate coping techniques. A relapse does not mean the person is doomed to never recover.

 

Anxiety is linked to threat and the main symptom is "fear of fear" - fear of uncertainty and the future, fear something terrible might happen. An anxious person has no belief in their ability to handle life events. Depression is linked to loss, but also comes about under prolonged anxiety or under intolerable conditions. Therefore depression is also linked to helplessness which develops into feelings of hopelessness and futility. Anxiety and depression follow a logical set of rules and will never deviate from these rules, although anxiety may present different symptoms once you start working to beat it. Therefore anxiety and depression can be understood and counter-measures can be developed.

 

Anxiety should be faced since the only real way to defeat fear is to experience it until you learn that it cannot hurt you. Depression should NOT be faced. Instead, the beliefs (schemas) which create depression must be identified and challenged.

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Is that directed at me?

 

The first thing I do when I have an ill employee is research the condition fully so I know a) when they are in need of support and b) when they are swinging the lead. Fully au fait with the basics of anxiety, depression, aspergers, epillepsy, every fertitlity problem going, heart conditions....

 

What I tend to be more interested in is the opinion of the professional, not the self diagnosed person. I expect your manager will be the same; thus, get diagnosed, and get a medical report.

 

Rollo May - "Depression is the inability to construct a future." As quoted extensively in the current film side effects. That resonates with me.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi, I did post it for your benefit. You seem way more savvy than the average manager. You're probably well thought-of by staff. The ones who don't like you, if any, are probably the ones who shouldn't be working there.

 

These conditions are really common so hopefully it will help someone who hasn't done as much research as we have. Introspection still takes up an inordinate amount of time for me. That's why I am very interested in learning about other people as you mentioned earlier. It must be tough for my team leader to be caught between someone who wants to move up and a company that is always pressing down.

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Heh, people in HR often don't care that much what people think of them. We need to be thick skinned :) But there's all sorts of people, many very different to me, who do a great job. I only describe "shouldn't be working there" for people who can't or won't do the work. And there is a different in how we treat can't (coach, support, help write cv...) and won't (out the door as soon as possible.)

 

I think the more ready diagnosis of kids helps everyone. 3 of my friends have kids with conditions that may be on the spectrum. One of them has a tutor a few hours a week who teaches how to read people and how to respond appropriately; I'm glad he gets that at school and won't have to seek it as an adult. But i'm also glad there are classes for adults.

 

It's becoming more normal to talk about "spectrum", and better understood. This can only be a good thing.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I am a little puzzled - how can you have an illness/disability "Unofficially" diagnosed ?

 

I would imagine if your illness/disability was officially diagnosed then the company would be bound by regulations to accommodate your situation.

 

Or am I not understanding something

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It depends of if this is a clinical diagnosis or a self applied one i'd say citizen

 

I never meant to allude to questioning this guys condition, i take his word on it, my point earlier was if he is certifying himself with the condition without the clinical diagnosis it means jack in employment terms and his employer has no duty to do anything in relation to reasonable adjustments until they accept it

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Hi everyone.

 

An "unofficial diagnosis" means that all the tests we took, which includes one I took in my own time on aspergers.com, show I display most of the traits of aspergers and am highly likely to have it. If I don't get diagnosed with it, then in lieu of any other suggestions I will still need to manage myself as though I am aspergers. My therapist has asked me to be a member of staff on a new adult aspergers support group. Of 8 staff, I am the only one who could qualify as aspergers. Our group hasn't finished setting up yet.

 

I'm dreading speaking to the incompetent, rude, Elmer Fudd lookalike who calls himself my doctor. He won't refer me to a specialist unit for a formal diagnosis. He wants to refer me to a doctor he knows who specialises in aspergers. God only knows what adventures await - maybe he's referring me to Yosemite Sam.

 

I texted my team leader to thank her for the moral support. (It's not her fault my employers are machine men with machine hearts.) I told her I don't want to let her down and I appreciate what she had done for me, even if I don't always think to stop and say thank you.

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On the face of it you seem to have hit upon a POSSIBLE diagnosis as yet unconfirmed by those who CAN either confirm or refute it,,not a web questionnare. Why would you not want to see the Dr you would be referred to by your GP if he/she specialises in Aspergers?,He/She would be able to confirm/refute the possibilty of Aspergers in your case. You can't have everything your own way,you cannot 'assume' you are correct,,it's as likely as not that you DON'T have Aspergers,you won't know until you see the specialist.

You really can't expect your employer to act on a 'wudda ,cudda,shudda,'situation,no one actually KNOWS if you have Aspergers or not,,the confirmed diagnosis is at the crux of all this.

I have something that is so easily mistaken for something else,,only a battery of tests by specialists actually confirms it,,the symptoms can apply to quite a broad spectrum of illnesses,,it takes specific tests over quite a period of time to confirm the diagnosis.

I'm not denergrating your situation in any way,,I just think you need the confirmed diagnosis before you can expect anything from your employer,,you would be being unreasonable to presume they should make allowances when noone has actually said Yes,you DO have Aspergers,because noone has actually confirmed it. With luck,,you won't have it and the Drs can work on finding out what you do have.

Lillibelle

 

I only know what I know cos I know it,I only give advice,I'm not legally trained nor do I pretend to be.

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