Jamie first became aware he was ‘different’ when he was 6 years old.
His mum had taken a call from his school saying they were struggling to cope with his excessive levels of energy and rigid routines.
Jamie didn’t know it then, but he was later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism), ADHD and Dysgraphia.
To honour this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which took place last week, we are shining a light through disability in the workplace. We chat with Jamie Lintell, a Launch Excellence Partner in our Ignite service and support team. Jamie kindly volunteered to share some of his story about what it’s like to live with a disability:
What are the positive aspects of your disability?
My logical way of thinking and clear-cut approach to social situations. It can often be a boost in any situation that requires focus and a straight path. Many times, it has given me the confidence to dive into a situation where others might hesitate or become trapped in a grey area of thought.
What are the main challenges?
My main challenge is my inability to really read other peoples’ reactions and emotions. They are often a blank canvas to me. I can guess what the finished painting should look like due to learnt experience, and often subconsciously try to fill in the blanks. This can frequently lead to a misinterpretation of a social situation, or my actions by other people.
How has IE supported you with your disability?
IE has been very understanding of my quirks and unusual habits like avoiding contact and sometimes coming across as blunt and matter of fact. That little bit of understanding goes a huge way to make my job more fulfilling along with the family feeling that IE has.
How can colleagues support you?
My colleagues often know not to take my initial reaction as the whole truth. They take the time to talk things over with me and get my understanding of the situation. This allows both of us to approach the task on the right foot.
Any other thoughts?
People with Asperger’s are often mistakenly labelled as “normal”, but I think labelling us as “normal”, does a disservice and diminishes the unique skills and mindset we can bring to any task or situation. It deprives us of opportunities in which we can really shine.
Closing thoughts from IE
We are proud of Jamie and the courage he shows living with a disability. He has flourished at IE, as demonstrated when he won a landslide victory in our Employee of the Month Competition
Thank you, Jamie, for sharing your inspiring story!
Read more here about the The UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities.