Yesterday, I was invited to attend a training day hosted by Alison Winter and Carolyn Hughes from Pearson. We were introduced to the Q Interactive system for digital psychometrics and given a preview of the WISC V – which looks great by the way! After spending the last 3 years carrying heavy psychometric kit around, the idea of a digital version was very appealing to me. I wasn’t disappointed by what we were shown.
The Q Interactive set-up is fantastic. It’s more cost effective, easier to transport, easier to administer/score and there are a number of useful features e.g. the voice recording system. I felt much more connected to the person I was testing without having the barrier of answer books and response sheets. It’s incredibly user friendly from both the client and clinician perspective.
It was a lovely informal and friendly atmosphere, where we were given excellent information about the product and able to ask lots of questions. Alison and Carolyn spent some time setting up our ipads up and now we have a 30 day free trial, so there is plenty of time to practice and get used to the new style of delivery. I am not a techy person, but within 30 minutes I was able to find my way around the programme.
I would encourage anyone that uses psychometrics to google Q Interactive, check out the products available and get in touch with Alison Winter to book onto a free information day. The venue and the lunch were also excellent.
Yesterday Great Oaks Psychology Services attended the first ever Leeds Hidden Talent Employment Fair. It was a fantastic day and great to be part of such an uplifting event. We had our own stand and spoke to lots of lovely people about Great Oaks Psychology and the services we offer.
We enjoyed a number of inspirational talks from organisations like The National Grid and Yorkshire Water, who spoke passionately about their positive experiences of employing people with autism. Dr Elizabeth Guest (Founder of Aspiedent) gave an engaging and insightful talk about the many social and communication struggles faced by people with autism in the workplace.
Despite the many organisations that are working hard to create more opportunities for people with autism, the statistics tell a worrying story that as a society we need to do so much more to accept and support people with Autism.
Autism is much more common than many people think. There are over half a million people in the UK with autism – that’s around 1 in 100.
• Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school
• Over 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them
• At least one in three adults with autism is experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support
• Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment
• 51% of adults with autism in the UK have spent time with neither a job, nor access to benefits, 10% of those having been in this position for a decade or more
• 61% of those out of work say they want to work
• 79% of those on Incapacity Benefit say they want to work
(Stats taken from the National Autistic Society website)
What can I do?
Learn more about the autism – increase your own knowledge about the unique struggles people with autism face. The National Autistic Society website is an amazing resource. So much of the stigma surrounding autism is deep rooted in a lack of understanding.
If you are an employer and in a position to offer employment, think about giving someone with autism a chance. This could be a life changing opportunity for someone and a massively rewarding experience for yourself.