Now I'm the Asperger's expert....

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Now I'm the Asperger's expert....
2
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 5:56pm

Argh! We have a PhD student at work with Asperger's Syndrome, and we've just had a whole situation blow up which was the result of a series of classic misunderstandings. It's nearly resulted in a lawsuit for the university. I wasn't involved, but looking at the account of what has happened, I can see utterly classic patterns every step of the way where the poor student got the wrong end of the stick, and reacted badly, and the faculty didn't take his disability into acount at all...anyway, I was stupid enough to TELL the faculty this, and to point out where they might have handled things better (eg by making expectations clearer, by providing support with organisational tasks, by adjusting some of the expectations around group work, all things I know that Euan and the other Aspies I know struggle with).


Oh boy was that a mistake. NOW all of a sudden I am the departmental 'expert' on Asperger's and I have to take this student on as a supervisor, to try and manage and support him better. I know he's probably way better off with me as a supervisor than someone who doesn't 'get' the Aspergers...but a small part of me is a bit tired of having to deal with it all the time at home and wants a break at work. That's selfish, I know, but I am sort of dreading supervising this student. But I know that no-one else can do it properly and give him a fair chance to complete his PhD.


argh!


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 4:18am

I totally get the "want a break from it" thing. I have an Aspie at home and I work in Engineering support during the day. Let me tell you, Engineering is just outside the autism spectrum! These fellows are the most rigid, inflexible, totally incapable of seeing anyone else's perspective group of geeks I have ever met. I just love them to death. My take on it is, yes they are quirky and require patience and a great sense of humor, and a lot of extra effort but I hope someone will show my boy the same kindness someday so I just roll with it. I wouldn't focus too much on the big picture because it is easy to build up resentment when you feel you are being unfairly taken advantage of.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 11:19am

My brother in law is an academic, and based on his stories of department inter-office politicking I would say that academics are pros at passing the buck if it's not in their immediate self-interest. I think that you were annointed because no one else wanted to put in the bit of extra work it would take to accommodate this poor fellow. Your decency got you selected, not so much your personal experience, altho that had a hand in your ability to have some insight and sympathy for this guy.

That being said, I can totally understand how you would like work to be a break from aspie-dom. Coaching an aspie brings another level of complexity to the situation...and for a PhD program is a bit extra work.

This will teach you what being a decent human being get you in this world, LOL!

Hugs

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson