Want to transfer/problems with Wing

Hi, new here. Long time lurker, first time poster.

Basically need some advice. I’m a pre-ATF Sgt with high functioning autism, which was only recently diagnosed. I have been with my current Sqn for five years and was recently granted an extension.

I am struggling massively, not only on the Sqn but also throughout wing. I have been held back, held back and held back from going to ATF, it took me two attempts to pass my board that nobody had prepared me for (ie I was asked questions on things I hadn’t expected to come up & things I hadn’t been told would come up), and in addition to that it took so long for me to actually get to the stage of a board (I was asking & asking & asking & getting nothing).

I feel totally let down by everybody from my wing commander down, including my own OC. And this leads me on to my other problem:
My OC knows I have HFA, yet clearly favours another member of staff over me. I have broken my back for my squadron for the last five years in order to get it to this stage. However, parade nights are regularly changed without letting me know. Example - last week I was only told about a change of uniform when I asked because I’d seen an email to a cadet with the correct uniform.

The OC regularly changes his mind about things that staff have been consulted on, and I always appear to be the last to find out. The mantra seems to be ‘it’s my train set and I don’t need any help playing with it’ even when I have suggested ideas that would improve the metaphorical train set.

I took time out from the squadron earlier this year as I was feeling a little bit taken for granted with how much I do for the squadron. Instead of trying to improve it for me, the OC accused me of dropping the Sqn in the proverbial (which was sort of the reason I did it).

There are also several other issues that I won’t raise now.

I have got to the point where I cannot continue in this way, however I was told when I asked about becoming supernumary at another Sqn that because I haven’t done SSIC, I can’t. Trouble is I want to move before I go to ATF. And due to my problems in the Wing, I want to move wings. However I don’t know if this is allowed because I still have white tabs.

If anybody has any advice it will be an enormous help.

You can move at anytime and very very rarely can it be stopped (ongoing investigation is one reason). Find a Sqn, discuss with their OC. Fill out the papers, get them to sign it, take it to your existing OC. Ask them to sign it, don’t leave it with them, send to wing HQ for processing (take a copy 1st). Await the request to move. Don’t burn any bridges, put it behind you and move on.

Hi Mike,
I can relate entirely to your post. I am waiting for a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, am also a white tabbed Sgt & am also having a few problems at my Sqn.

I believe my OC doesn’t understand me, and despite a few cadets being on the autistic spectrum, he doesn’t appear to understand the impact of having an autistic member of staff on the team.

I have been in contact with the area officer from my next door wing (luckily I live on the border of the two wings) to enquire about which squadrons can accommodate me (being in the city I have numerous squadrons within half an hour’s drive of me) or whereabouts he would recommend me to go.

Plt Off Prune, are you saying I don’t have to do it this way? Just have a chat with the OC of the Sqn I wish to transfer to & get the paperwork filled in? Even if the squadron I wish to go to have an abundance of staff?

One of the things reading these is do you both know how your condition presents itself in terms of traits and behaviours that you expect that you could explain to people.

When I have cadets who join who are recognised as being on the ASD spectrum, I ask the parents to meet with me and the TO (if they don’t offer themselves) so we can understand what we might see and what we may need to do with respect to learning to mitigate things for them.

One of our son’s best mates (he’s known him since he was 4) has (it wasn’t diagnosed properly until he left school) Asperger’s; he was put in low ability classes, because he was disruptive, despite not being low ability by any stretch. As far as the doctor’s were concerned he had ADHD and coshed accordingly. The sorts of things he displays are OCD (he’s always neatly presented and has a habit of arranging things), is very literal, needs stability, when our son says they are going to do something he doesn’t cope particularly well if things change at the last minute, when he turns up sometimes he’s chatty and sometimes ignores you like you’re not there, says some off the wall things and doesn’t cope well with strangers. Some of his traits have lessened over the years as he has come to learn how to deal with them. From some of Mike’s comments some of these traits seem evident.

As for ‘the Corps’ understanding you, it doesn’t really understand cadets on the ASD Spectrum. It doesn’t really give us the knowledge to give them a good experience. I use what I have seen and picked up from my son’s mate, to help me understand, but it doesn’t cover all things. Many staff take the attitude as long as they take their meds it’ll be fine. Therefore don’t expect people in the Corps to fall over themselves to understand you and or make allowances. It’s poor that squadron commanders behave like this, but not entirely surprising. Wing Staff even less surprising as they look at very general pictures of the Wing, don’t really know the staff and forget (ironically) that people have lives outside the Corps, forget squadrons are organic entities and increasingly rely on statistics from SMS to make decisions/forge opinions.

Prune is right in not burning bridges. I would ask for a ‘hats off, no rank’ meeting and just sit down as adults with your senior WSO without the CO present, explain things properly reference your condition, the fact it’s undiagnosed is irrelevant and why you aren’t happy. Not suggesting it would improve things overnight or at all, but if you intend moving there has to be proper reason.
I feel if you move, it might be OK to begin with but steadily deteriorate, as the saying goes ‘the grass always seems greener on the other side of the hill’.