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nothingtoofar

Doctor with an autistic spectrum disorder

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    I seem to have created a tricky situation for myself and would appreciate some advice.

     

    I'm a doctor working in the UK and I have recently been offered a job in New South Wales. The application process involved an interview and the receipt of three satisfactory references, and I had also met with one of the senior doctors in the department I will be working in prior to applying and was encouraged to apply by them. However, the big glaring issue on my application is the diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger syndrome, which was made during my first year of university when I was having some problems settling in. I had to declare this during my health examination for my visa and submit the reports written by the clinical psychologists who performed these assessments. The doctor performing the exam made a comment that it wasn't apparent to him from his interactions with me that I had Asperger's and he wouldn't have known had it not been for the reports I submitted.

     

    The issue with all of this is that the reports make it sound like I can't do my job at all! The assessments took place because I had raised my own concerns to the university that I felt I was struggling, and so the reports make comment about the difficulties I was having talking to patients and interacting with my peers. As I progressed through university, however, things improved on all fronts and I ended up graduating in the top quartile of my cohort with honours. I have been working in the same department now for a year and the consultants I currently work with have had no concerns with my practice. One of my bosses in particular who I feel able to confide in has taken an interest in my career progression and is fully supportive of my prospective move, and he wants to do everything he can to help make it happen.

     

    My concern is that my visa application will be unsuccessful because of this diagnosis and the damning reports from my first year of university, a good eight or nine years ago now. The assessments took place so that I could benefit from extra support during university but all that really came of them was extra time in written exams (nobody is entitled to extra time in practical assessments because these are deemed time-critical) and the usual extra equipment that students get, e.g. laptop, voice recorder, software packages. The doctor performing my visa health examination said that he will make a few comments on the assessment to support my application as best he can - the diagnosis does not impact on my ability to do my job, and it won't affect my ability to live or work in Australia now or in the future, and he noted that I have been able to do my job without any issues for the last few years. He also suggested that my boss write a paragraph on my visa reference about my job performance and the fact that there are no issues from that point of view, as this would be a much more recent opinion on my ability to practice and also takes into account my actual medical practice rather than how I was during my first year of university.

     

    I have been Googling for the last few weeks about this and obviously wanted to declare this during my health assessment for the sake of transparency because I know not declaring it would be a serious no-no. However, my worry is that declaring it has jeopardised my chances of moving abroad because the reports I submitted make it sound like I am very disabled by the diagnosis when friends and colleagues who have known me in the last few years would unanimously agree that this is not the case. All the forum posts I have read recently have been about families with autistic children, some of whom require extra support in school that would potentially be at cost to the Australian government, and I wasn't able to find any personal accounts from adults in my situation. I don't know what might help my situation but I would be grateful for any advice and suggestions. I'll be meeting with my consultant next week to write the visa reference so any suggestions on what to include in this to help support my visa application would be appreciated. Equally, if people think that the reports will have scuppered any chances I had of being granted a visa then that would be good to know.

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    Consult with one of the agents who specialise in medical conditions- George Lombard, Peter Bollard and Richard Gregan are the ones usually mentioned in this context. Chances are you’ll be ok but you might want to get assessments updated to reflect your current functioning. 

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     I personally think you will be ok ,especially if you have good references covering the last few years. I agree with Quoll though, contact one of the agents who specialise in medical stuff if you are really concerned as they should have a very good idea how it could pan out.

     Good Luck with everything'

       Cal x


    If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

    If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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    It shouldn't be an issue. The medical is looking for things that are likely to cost the Australian tax payer significant money in healthcare fees. But for piece of mind, do have a chat with one of the specialist agents mentioned. 

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    12 hours ago, VERYSTORMY said:

    It shouldn't be an issue. The medical is looking for things that are likely to cost the Australian tax payer significant money in healthcare fees. But for piece of mind, do have a chat with one of the specialist agents mentioned. 

    Autism is a huge burden on the NDIS at the moment as so many people seem to have it and want to claim benefits for it.

    The NDIS are cracking down. Because it is a wide spectrum disorder they are going to clamp down on people with high functioning autism from claiming benefits on the NDIS.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/health/autism-to-face-cutbacks-in-ndis-as-secret-plan-revealed/news-story/be382102cc517deaef572068909acdc4


    I want it all, and I want it now.

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    4 hours ago, nothingtoofar said:

    What does that mean for me as a visa applicant? Unfortunately, I can't read that article.

    If you’re unlikely to be claiming benefits from the NDIS ( National Disability Insurance Scheme) then it won’t affect you at all. If your condition is considered serious enough that you “could” potentially claim benefits unde the scheme then the potential cost of those benefits would be tallied up and contribute to a perception of your burden on the Aussie tax payer and thence potentially impact your visa.  However as the intent is to wean those with high functioning autism off the NDIS teat (probably won’t happen, the autistic community is very politically driven) you’d be ok because your chances of being entitled to any disability benefit is likely to be reduced.  You really do need to talk to one of the agents for reassurance.

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