Sue Bayley works for Telford and Wrekin Council as a Careers Adviser. She’s also neurodiverse. Here she shares her story and how she’s using it to support colleagues with similar experiences.
“My biography is one of being mute, determined, spatially challenged, and at all times self-destructive.
“I was diagnosed as being within the Autistic Spectrum as an adult. I was shocked, but at least I had an explanation for the difficulties I had encountered in communicating in social and work situations.
“Over the last 20 years, I have been on a journey to investigate my own neurodiversity and to act as an advocate for those the world doesn’t often understand or appreciate.
“That’s why one afternoon during David Sidaway’s (Chief Executive at Telford & Wrekin Council) “Ask Me Anything” session, I stuck my hand up and said that I couldn't be the only person at the Council who’d learned they were neurodiverse. I thought it would be great to set up a support group for people who are also neurodiverse.
“It's been a struggle for me over the years at work. I'd had differing receptions from people - from the very understanding to the less so. So it would be great to have a forum were we can openly talk about our stories and experiences.”
“So far we’ve had two meetings. During the first session, I told my story. How I’d gone from a mute child, to speaking at a Committee Meeting in the House of Lords about non-physical disability. I think it left people a little bit emotional.
“There were also some people there who support Autistic people in their jobs and wanted to learn more about other people’s experiences.”