Autism assessment for adult regarding employment

Regulars will know that my daughter has autism and learning difficulties. Her boyfriend who she lives with is just the same but never assessed or diagnosed. He can get a job OK as he is clean, smart and polite at interview. He can’t keep a job though as he doesn’t “get” what people say to him and they might ask him to do something different or work different hours and he can’t negotiate so just gets cross or walks away. He has lost so many jobs due to this.

We always say on application forms that he is dyslexic and really struggles with writing and form filling but we can’t mention autism as he is undiagnosed …… so far.

His current employer knows this but still sent home a pile of forms about an inch high for him to read and then sign. they were about Health and Safety at work. I said she knows about his problems and it’s not fair to expect him to do this and he said she told him “just do your best.” I ended up reading him every single sheet, explaining and questioning him about it and then getting him to sign and date! he couldn’t read and understand one page let alone about 30. :cry:

I think being assessed might help him but how do I broach this with him? He knows he has learning difficulties and he went to a special school but he seems to think he is OK otherwise but he isn’t. He tries to be polite and pleasant to people but it never really works out.

Hi Penny,
I’ve been mulling this over. My thoughts are - show him a video clip about autism, look on youtube and Ted talks for one by an autistic adult who had a late diagnosis. Best to find one by a man as men and women often experience autism differently. (Sorry I can’t suggest one, but am rather snowed under at the moment.) This could then lead into a discussion about autism generally, he might even notice similarities about their experiences and his own. Then you can decide whether the time is right to broach whether he might have have autism too and point out that the people giving the talks benefitted from having the diagnosis etc


Hello Melly, don’t know how I missed your reply but it sounds good advice so thanks very much.

Well that’s another job gone today! He has failed his 6 month probationary period and just about all the reasons given sound typical of problems an autistic person has.

I am cross because one reason was “Inability to follow written or verbal instructions” yet we said on the application form he was dyslexic and if you look at my first post on here you will see that they sent home piles of paperwork for him to go through!

Anyway, does anybody know any organisations that might help fund the cost of getting a diagnosis because it costs about £2,000 which he doesn’t have.



How unfair. Did he enjoy the job? If so is it worth contacting ACAS?

For an autism diagnosis, would he not have one on the NHS? How to get diagnosed with autism - NHS


Knowing an employee is dyslexic and struggles with reading then sending him home with a pile of safety forms to read and sign is a derogation of health and safety in itself and definitely of their duty of care to employees, also reading them in their own time and not works time is taking a liberty.
There is no ensuring understanding of the forms and safety measures, no opportunity to ask questions on either side for this. Absolutely appalling. If that is the sum total of their health and safety responsibility he’s far safer not being there.

Theory: Nobody goes to work to do a bad job. People want to do their best.
Reality: Communication breakdowns ruin it. Poor communications, no mutual understanding.

An employer should make allowances and provisions for dyslexics
The onus is on them to ensure they understand dyslexia and how to be understood by the employee and that the employee understands what is required/being communicated.

People live within their own experiences and unfortunately can be impatient or unaware and it must be terribly frustrating for him.

The link below has information about dyslexics in the workplace and some useful links.

Do you have access to his dyslexia report? The assessor might have put indications of other factors in there eg pointers towards dyspraxia, attention deficit etc. Which are also useful in assessing workplace needs and also towards Autism evidence - if he still has school reports have a look through them to see if they also point towards such things.

further information.

Thank you Melly and Breezey.

The deadline to complain is tomorrow so I have just composed an email and sent it using some of Breezey’s info.

He couldn’t cope with going to a tribunal he says but we both want this organisation to know that we are not impressed with them and what they did was unfair. I wonder how she would have felt if I wrote to her in Chinese and said “just do the best you can”.

We may get nowhere but an apology would be good. He does not want to go back to work there he says! Thanks again.

Good luck Penny.
You gave me laugh about giving her it in Chinese!

They sound woefully behind the times in terms of diversity, health and safety and duty of care.
They are in great need of enlightenment. Hopefully the tribunal will make them put diversity training and policies in place if nothing else.
He is better off not going back.

Going forward for future jobs, this is from the dyslexia link :- … g-for-work

"Disclosing dyslexia
You may be unsure when, or whether at all, to disclose that you are dyslexic during a job search. You are not legally obliged to do so, especially if you feel it won’t affect your ability to do the job.

However, if dyslexia is relevant you could disclose it on the equal opportunities section of the application form, or during an interview. It is possible that the employer already has experience of dyslexia in the workplace. In an interview, you can explain how dyslexia affects you, and what support could help to minimise its impact.

By being open with your prospective employer you will also be able to ask for adjustments during the application process, such as extra time during tests.

If you get the job, your employer has a legal obligation to make Reasonable Adjustments to the workplace. These will benefit you and the organisation."

Personal needs statement
For his first day at work you could prepare a guidance sheet with him regarding aiding him in the workplace if he is comfortable with this being done.

There may be better examples online or others might have better suggestions, this is a starting point.
Make it a one side A4 sheet.

I have dyslexia
My dyslexic abilities and strengths are:-
list things he excels at
I work well on my own at…
I work well with others doing…

My dyslexic weakpoints are:-
Reading - my reading is…
I am not good with complex or complicated written information
My processing skills are slower than average
Writing - my writing is…
Maths - I am not good with numbers / I love counting things and have great concentration

You can help me by being clear, concise and patient:-
Use plain and simple English in written and verbal instructions
Give me time to process and understand written and verbal information, requests and instructions
Ensuring that I understand what is expected of me from each and all communication methods.
Do not ask me to work with numbers, weights, measurements.

Does he have attention deficit? does he get distracted?

Changes to working practices - flexibility :-
I have processing issues and I focus on the role of my job and my set hours.
I am working at understanding that workplaces sometimes need changes and flexibility - I guess you are all working on this with him.
You can help me by :-
Keeping change to the minimum possible
Have patience and time to explain the need and for me to process and understand.
Assure me that it is just for today or if you are asking for tomorrow that is just for then.
If it is extra hours, explain to me that I will be paid or that I can leave earlier on which day
If the change is going to be permanent eg work that I do, this will need time and patience to understand and process.
Change all of this as required to suit him and the job he has.
I am looking forward to this job and want to work to my best ability and be a valued addition to your team. I want to work to my abilities and at the same time as you supporting me, I hope that I am supporting you in building your diversity knowledge and understanding for others who may join you.

As you know with your daughter, dyslexia affects other aspects such as organisation skills and processing etc, Add what you can in the A4 one side sheet to help him at work according to the job he is going to.

Hope this will be useful in helping an employer to understand and work with him and reduce a lot of frustrations on both sides due to their lack of understanding, his needs and poor communications and I hope that it will help build confidence in himself and in employers.

Have a look around the Dyslexia website for other information,
If he qualifies for any benefits because of his dyslexia he should qualify for workplace assistance in assessing the workplace and his needs to aid his work, if he doesn’t qualify, make enquiries with the dyslexia organisation about work assessments.

It is unacceptable.

The workplace sent an email to say he did not mention it on his application form although, since I always help him with it, I am certain we did. It was last autumn and at that time I was busy with legal stuff having lost my Mum so I must have forgotten to photocopy his form which is totally unlike me!!

She also denies that a staff member told him to “do the best you can” but he is certain she did. So it’s our word against theirs!

I don’t suppose there is anything we can do now.

Thank you Breezey for all your help.

One word against another and the neurotypical employer taking advantage of the situation thinking they have more integrity than the neurodiverse. It is despicable.

You could ask them for a copy of the application form.

However, you said dyslexia was pointed out in the interview as well but being verbal, it is again one word against another.

Understandable you had a lot on your plate at that time, sorry for your loss.

I am sure she did tell him to do his best, it’s not something you make up.

If nothing else, they’ve had a shake up with a tribunal against them, I hope they take things forward.

You might not have the last laugh on paper but believe me you have got the last laugh because there will have been some challenging career enhancing conversations behind closed doors! Employers do not like tribunals.
The tribunal will also have words with them and maybe, if there is a report, have recommendations or instructions for them to do certain things. Tribunal will know that in the middle lies the truth and that the truth perhaps swings more towards the employee.

Put it behind and move on, as you know, nothing more to be gained there.
He deserves a better employer.

Do get in touch with social services for needs assessment, there may be some disability at work measures he qualifies for - have a look on the dyslexia website, there’s awareness for the workplace.

Have a think about doing that one page assistance information, probably better to give them that on the first day rather than at application stage or in the interview. On the first day, say he had a thought about how he can show how they can help him.

He could make a subject access request asking for copies of everything they have on him?
Legal requirement to comply in about 30 days.