Friday 3 June 2011

Personal Progress and Team Working

This week at Autism Works has seen me continue working on the funding bids and also working on an evaluation form for the Department of Health about my experience at Autism Works, focusing on what personal benefits working with Autism Works has brought me. This questionnaire also ties in nicely with an interview that I have been doing for The Autism File magazine.

Much of the employee-focused questions on the Department of Health's questionnaire are about whether or not I feel that my skills and confidence levels have risen courtesy of the project. Despite the challenges that this role has at times presented, particularly the continual adjustments that I have found myself having to adapt to as well as having to learn new skills, I have been very fortunate to have had the support to enable this. For the main part, I can happily say that I have grown in confidence since I started working at Autism Works back in September 2010. Where much of the confidence has come from is knowing that I am involved with an organisation that has the potential to make huge differences to people's lives, not just people on the autistic spectrum themselves, but also their family/carers.

As regards personal skills, now that the Autism Works team is starting to grow with Grayson coming on board and Dan Cottrell, there is much more scope for me to develop my team-working skills. One of the most fascinating aspects of team-working is that there is much that I can learn working with others as much as there is that others can learn from working with me. Grayson seems to have picked up quite a bit about Asperger's Syndrome from working with me and Dan, while I am beginning to pick up more about IT and the terminology involved in software testing from Grayson. Grayson's Asperger horizons look set to be broadened further next week when he attends the Autism Awareness training course organised by ESPA Training. Who knows, by the time he completes it, he may even feel more comfortable in the Asperger world like Peter!

We have also had a visit from Karl Hardy, ESPA's Finance Director and Company Secretary for Autism Works, this week who has kindly provided us with some spreadsheets for one of our funding bids, hopefully we will get something this time - fingers crossed! Next week sees our Marketing Intern from Newcastle University, Sumanjeet Sandhu, start with us. One of Sumanjeet's tasks will be to raise brand awareness of Autism Works through social media. Sumanjeet's skills and interest in digital marketing should help to continue to raise the profile of Autism Works.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to Adventures with Autism Works as the company continues to develop.

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