Any other autistic nurses out there? - pg.3 | allnurses

Any other autistic nurses out there? - page 3

I went to an autism conference recently put on by a friend who has Asperger's, and I related very strongly to some of the things that the presenters were saying about people with autism. I don't... Read More

  1. Visit  afwv profile page
    0
    "sweetheart, let me tell you, that happens everywhere, with everyone, regardless of disability."

    When you say things like this, it makes it sound like you think you know disabled people's experiences better than we do. Disabled people do get treated differently, and if you don't have autism it is not your place to assume we get treated the same. For one thing, several people I know have been fired from jobs or not hired because they had an autism diagnosis (they were specifically told this was the reason, not their personal qualities, just the label). That isn't made up. It is technically illegal to discriminate based on disability, but still very common.

    People with autism don't lack empathy. I don't always have the energy to explain this to people again and again. Would you? Before I say something bad about a minority group, I would take responsibility and educate myself.
  2. Visit  dynamogirl65 profile page
    0
    Quote from Jeweles26
    I think that people think those with autism could not be nurses because of how little we know about it. Most people just think of social awkwardness, lack of empathy, both things that make it very hard to complete many nursing tasks. If you are autistic and are wanting to be a nurse, or you ARE a nurse, then why not educate those around you? Let us know how you can perform the same things others can. Let us understand the adjustments you make.
    As far as being treated poorly by your preceptor...sweetheart, let me tell you, that happens everywhere, with everyone, regardless of disability. If you happened to be placed with a group like this, they would probably find any reason r they can to pick on you and make your life hell. Just find another non-toxic work environment, and try again.
    Amen! Well stated. Nurses are known to eat their young in certain settings. Its important to assess our qualities and apply them in the appropriate specialty. We all have talents to offer.
  3. Visit  Indy profile page
    2
    I am a parent of a 20 year old girl with autism, and I have no doubt in my mind that she would not be able to pursue nursing as a career. It is not because of the reasons discussed, however. It is because of her severe delay in literacy; right now she is reading at an elementary school level. We work with her all the time, and she is slowly gaining in her reading comprehension. I hope this will speed up a little, since she recently has begun to enjoy the act of reading. I know that reading on a college level is required for nursing, therefore my daughter will not be able to consider that career.

    It does warm my heart to hear of nurses that fit on the spectrum... just to know it can be done is awesome. Autistics are very empathetic, they just have a lot of difficulty developing the ability to show it. They also can be very focused on tasks, and very stubborn, and hardworking. These are good traits. I know it must be really he!! trying to be flexible, change priorities, and have to multitask the way nurses need to do even on good days. Y'all hang in there.
    DermottMcSorley and jtm11 like this.
  4. Visit  aspiern profile page
    5
    OK ...I think it is time for me to chime in on this topic. I am a nurse with autism and I can tell you that I am very good within this profession. I achieve everything other nurses do as far as being able to assess a patients needs and interaction is great, also. It takes a toll on me personally, but others do not see this side of it. Working in any field with others would have the same effect, so what to do? I love this job because it makes me feel very connected to others and gives me the direct ability to help people, which is extremely rewarding to me. Autism is a spectrum disorder and therefor ...no definitive assumptions about those with it should be made. The proof is in what each individual is able to accomplish and that is all we should be looking at. I have met many neurotypicals that would not make a good nurse just as I have known people with autism that should not try it either. There you have it (: I would say the answer is...it depends!
  5. Visit  TerpGal02 profile page
    0
    I too have suspected I fall within the spectrum for some time. I have a really hard time getting jokes, sarcasm is totally over my head. I have a very difficult time at parties in group conversations. It's hard to judge when it's my turn to talk. I make up for it by mostly listening. I AM much better one on one. Making prolonged eye contact is excruciating for me but I force myself because it's the polite thing to do. I am NOT a hugger and uninvited physical contact makes me cringe. I can have somewhat a blunted/flat affect at times but I am very conscious of that and when at work I try to just keep a smile on my face. Certain textures freak me out. Like salad dressing or ketchup left on a plate and not on the food it was meant to be on. I twirl my hair when I am stressed/bored. I bump into things a lot. I DO have the whole "special interest" thing. It changes but more recently has been pharmacology (esp psychopharmacology).

    I think I AM very empathetic and have received many kind word from pts and family that "you seem like you really care". I too am a psych nurse but I think my assessment skills are quite good. No issues with Foleys but I have never started an IV so who knows. I generally CAN master a lot of hands on skills with lots of repetition. Never been formally dx though.
  6. Visit  ellieheart profile page
    0
    I did an online search for "nurses with autism" when I found this post. I have many of the same problems here that a some of the other posters have mentioned (no point in re-listing them). I didn't come to the realization that I fell in the realm of autistic spectrum disorder until a few years after I finished nursing school. I worked in ER and ICU, and found that even after trying very hard for about three years, I could not work as quickly as other nurses. And although I was somewhat developmentally delayed in some ways, such as understanding the world from an adults perspective, I have always been able to perform well academically; at least in anything that can be self taught. I've tested several times and show to have an IQ of 145; however, I have to say that I firmly believe IQ test are about no better at predicting intelligence than a gypsy palm reader. According to my IQ score, only o.1 % of the population is a smart as I am. If there's one thing in life that I'm certain, it's that concept of IQ test is one of the biggest lies ever told, and that it is impossible to measure intelligence. Even Einstein said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” An IQ test is nothing but recognizing patterns, something I'm very good at because I've spent most of my life in observation mode. However, I'm extremely weak when it comes to understanding things like non verbal communication. I'm also very literal in my thinking, much more than the average person. I can teach myself almost anything, but if I'm in a lecture or listening to a teacher speak, they might as well be talking in Chinese because I absolutely cannot follow along with what they are saying. As a child, I failed the 2nd grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 9th grade, and 10th grade. I simply couldn't follow along with what teachers were saying for more than 30 seconds. In nursing school I browsed the book and power point presentations provided to students. I relied on other students to let me know about any specific assignments or schedule changes. People that start talking about DSM criteria and such really don't have any idea what they are talking about. Frankly, modern science understands very little about most mental health issues, and even less about autism. One person posted the question, how can someone with autism be a nurse? The simplest answer is that at the far end of autistic spectrum disorder are people who are not much different than everyone else on the surface, yet the way we think is kind of like thinking on a different wavelength. Nursing is simply a matter of learning science. And think about it, who can truly explain human intelligence. People can't even figure out how to properly rehabilitate criminals, end wars, stop poverty, or end world hunger; do you really trust them when they say they have figured out DSM criteria that precisely defines mental health or that they are capable of measuring human intelligence. (Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton may have suffered from a type of autism, according to experts. Researchers at Cambridge and Oxford universities believe both scientists displayed signs of Asperger's Syndrome. April 2003). Since it's related to this topic, Einstein had a couple other interesting quotes. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” Also, Einstein stated that it's not that he was so smart, he just stays with problems longer.

    I'm curious if anyone other nurse with autism has taken a bonafide IQ test, and how did they do?

    I'm still a nurse, but I've had to find work that doesn't demand such a fast pace.
    Last edit by ellieheart on Feb 13 : Reason: grammar
  7. Visit  blaireau profile page
    1
    I know this is an old thread, but it's so hard to find discussions about this that I had to chime in.
    I am diagnosed as autistic and I'm starting nursing school in the fall. My current jobs involve customer service and childcare, two things that autistic people aren't 'supposed' to be able to do. But here's the thing: there's no one way to be autistic, and it is nobody's place to say that autistic people can't do nursing or any other career. I'm good at what I do right now. I can handle social interaction, even if I don't understand it all the time. I know my duties and perform them well. I'm caring and empathetic, just like many other autistic people I know. I have a friend, also autistic, who just graduated from nursing school. She's fantastic, sweet, socially competent, precisely RN material.
    Sure, there are aspects of the job that are stressful to both of us because of being on the spectrum, but there's parts of every job that are difficult to different people. Autistic people are as different to each other as neurotypical people are. Nursing suits some, but might not fit others. I find it very offensive that anybody would claim universally that we can't handle this job.
    jadelpn likes this.
  8. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    0
    Quote from blaireau
    I know this is an old thread, but it's so hard to find discussions about this that I had to chime in.
    I am diagnosed as autistic and I'm starting nursing school in the fall. My current jobs involve customer service and childcare, two things that autistic people aren't 'supposed' to be able to do. But here's the thing: there's no one way to be autistic, and it is nobody's place to say that autistic people can't do nursing or any other career. I'm good at what I do right now. I can handle social interaction, even if I don't understand it all the time. I know my duties and perform them well. I'm caring and empathetic, just like many other autistic people I know. I have a friend, also autistic, who just graduated from nursing school. She's fantastic, sweet, socially competent, precisely RN material.
    Sure, there are aspects of the job that are stressful to both of us because of being on the spectrum, but there's parts of every job that are difficult to different people. Autistic people are as different to each other as neurotypical people are. Nursing suits some, but might not fit others. I find it very offensive that anybody would claim universally that we can't handle this job.
    I like the way you think. As the parent of a teenager with autism, I am constantly amazed at the ability of people who are on the spectrum to adapt.

    And to not understand some of social interaction could work in your favor in that it will assist you in focusing on the task at hand, as opposed to all of the chit/chat-gossip and other interactions which other nurses can get caught up in.

    Nursing is different as of late in that there's specific scripting, direct goals, and the same type of charting as opposed to paper/write a narrative variety. Which can become routine.

    I wish you nothing but the best, and best of luck in your future successes!
  9. Visit  blaireau profile page
    0
    That's a good point about the social interaction. I'm usually left out of the gossip train, especially since I focus on work so intensely. Chit chat is lost on me, but the actual meat of nursing interaction is fine. In fact, I find social interaction a million times easier in a clinical setting. I'm no good with small talk, but I'm great at giving people information, reassuring them, and asking them questions about their situation. As long as it's procedural, it's easy.

    Thank you so much for your response and well wishes! All the best to you and your teen.


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