By: AJ Chambers | 2 April, 2024

My journey towards Autism Awareness in the workplace

By Mark Lewsey, Marketing Consultant, AJ Chambers

As I reflect on my journey of the past few months, I am compelled to share my newfound appreciation for the vital role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the workplace. In my quest for knowledge and understanding, I understood further that embracing diversity goes beyond race, gender, age etc – it encompasses a broad spectrum of experiences, including neurodiversity.

My journey

I am a proud father of an 11-year-old son who is on the autism spectrum. My personal journey as the primary parent navigating the challenges and triumphs that come with raising a child with high functioning autism and being a single parent, has led me to a profound realisation about the significance of fostering awareness and acceptance in the workplace.

In the greyer years of life, I found myself facing a new challenge – the daunting task of official learning and undertaking exams. Why? The answer is simple – I wanted to be better educated about autism due to my family circumstances and autism in the workplace. I believed that enhancing my understanding would not only make me a more empathetic and supportive father, but also contribute to a more inclusive and understanding professional environment.

“Autism is an integral part of the diverse fabric of our society.”

Challenging, but positive, change

The journey was not without its challenges. The prospect of diving into textbooks, attending online lessons, and facing exams in my alleged ‘spare time’ was a humbling and, at times, intimidating experience. However, the pursuit of knowledge was fuelled by a genuine desire to help create positive change where required.

I am thrilled to share that my efforts have been rewarded and I passed my Level II Certificate in Understanding Autism. This achievement is not just a personal triumph (I definitely found it hard going at times) but a testament to the transformative power of education and its potential to shape inclusive workplaces.

“Each step we take towards greater awareness and acceptance contributes to a more inclusive and compassionate environment.”

Understanding Autism

Autism is an integral part of the diverse fabric of our society. By fostering awareness and understanding in the workplace, we can create an environment that values the unique strengths and perspectives of individuals on the spectrum. Embracing neurodiversity not only enhances our workplaces, but also enriches the lives of those who are part of our professional community.

As we champion the cause of EDI, let us remember that each step we take towards greater awareness and acceptance contributes to a more inclusive and compassionate environment. It is through collective efforts and a commitment to lifelong learning, that we can build a future where everyone, regardless of their neurodivergence, feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their best.

It’s only together, we can create workplaces that celebrate diversity in all its forms and pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.

To learn more about Autism Awareness, please click here.

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