I've got Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus, Dyspraxia, Caetextia and Asperger's. This makes me 'look odd', affecting the shape of my face. People throughout my entire life have reacted very badly to this, I've been beaten up many times, all my teeth kicked out, all my flats save this one burgled, legs intentionally burned 'for fun' by a coloured lady, knife wounds, all sorts. This isn't just an adult thing, it's been since schooldays. Even pre-school. I remember being sent home from a kindergerten because two of the others were looking at me and screaming! At first the teacher thought I'd been bullying them but I'd not been anywhere near them, Mom was just advised to find me somewhere else.
OFFICIALLY I've an I.Q. of 68, putting me in the mental retardation category. (I'm perfectly happy with the word 'retard', I am one, it's not an insult, it's the truth.) But it's one-sided, I'm not good at shapes/patterns and that's what kills me in tests. Despite the official reading, I have sixteen good computing and English quals. Thing IS, people see the disabilities first, I'm too 'weird-looking' for them, they don't bother trying out my quals!
I'm 51 now. I've never really had a job, never had friends, never had the chance to participate in anything much. Tried for many, many jobs, must be thousands, voluntary and paid and been turned down for the lot over the years. Which makes me sound like another sad loser, but that's just because I've never been given the chance to succeed, you can't get into the party if the bouncers won't let you through the door.
Now I'm in a town where I'm a bit safer physically, (or seem to be, 'bit' being the operative word!) I want a chance to get started with something, maybe make friends for the first time ever, maybe learn how to get past my Asperger's to do so but as always I'm being turned down for everything. Not disabled enough/wrong kind of disability/no references/experience...... I tried having a support worker but he was expensive and didn't really get me anything. I've now been told I should get a social worker, but I've no idea how to do this. So I've got two questions for everybody.
1.) What's the difference between a support worker and a social worker and do you have to pay for a social worker (the support worker was £60 a week which I can't really afford)
2.) How do you get a social worker without having to be referred by psychiatrists?
On the latter question, I've bitten the bullet and voluntarily referred myself to psychs. I've not been replied to yet but I've had counselling and as counsellors aren't allowed to give you answers (so why the hell call them 'counsellors' as 'counsel' MEANS 'advice') I'm hoping shrinks ARE. Update on that, seem to have been booted by Council shrinks for not being nutty enough. Which is strange considering I had a psych. social worker (for about 10 minutes) where I used to live. It seems I fall between all the stools - and that's not just because of my balance problem!
I TOTALLY want a chance to join in with things. When people put me with others with the same I.Q. best will in the world, I don't fit. The others are all talking about toilet-hugging, running about like kids, yelling, making strange noises, rocking violently in chairs.... I offer to help with the washing-up and get three large able-bodied adults physically standing between me and the kitchen! Gimme strength, what am I gonna do, grab a knife and go psycho on them? I also overheard their sole office woman complaining about being overworked so I offered to help out as that's what I'm trained in. She grabbed everything and shot through the door like I'd tried to steal it off her. And I was turned down from volunteering in the shop as they said other customers wouldn't like looking at me.
I get that a LOT. I've lost count of how many voluntary posts I've applied for around here, every voluntary shop, many societies.... They're all yelling 'WE WANT VOLS!!' but when they guy with the odd face comes along, suddenly they don't want volunteers so much any more. Strange that....
Sorry no one has answered your questions and it's took so long for a reply from me as I have been off since November having an operation! Anyway difference between a Support Worker and Social Worker is a Support Worker does just that Supports you in day to day living and going out shopping and doing social things like going to the zoo or theatre. Social workers aim to protect vulnerable people from abuse, neglect or self-harm and to help to enhance their well-being and quality of life. Social workers operate within legal frameworks for protecting and supporting vulnerable people,those working with adults aim to ensure that their needs for care and protection are met. Social workers work closely with other professionals like mental health social workers and often work in teams alongside community mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. Hope this helps!