Joining the navy with Aspergers Syndrone (Autism)?

maukjf

Badgeman
I think one of the things many people may not fully grasp is that although the service operates on daily routines & drills, the bloody things are forever changing.

For those who find constant change distressing, the Armed Forces may not always be the sanctuary imagined.

On the other side of the coin, mild autism spectrum disorders were only actively diagnosed in recent years so there will undoubtedly be many undiagnosed 'sufferers' already serving. The rules have changed, which means it is no longer automatically a bar to those diagnosed with ASD.

I am not diagnosed with Aspergers but I have an SPLD which is closely linked to it. In fact according to this https://psychology-tools.com/autism-spectrum-quotient/ its quite likely I have the condition.I haven't bothered for a formal diagnosis since it hardly effects me negatively these days. When I was younger I was definitely very socially anxious but I've overcome it alot and in fact when I went on a selection weekend with the Army the report stated that I had' excellent people skills.' However, I still struggle day to day with some things, for example I find it difficult to understand plots in films. But like I say this is something that no one can help me with and doesnt' affect me too adversely. On the otherhand I also have the 'benefits' of the condition. I have a degree in maths and I'm about to start a PHD in Computer Science...However, funnily enough I feel as result of my 'condition' I sometimes prefer a military environment. In the military we are taught to give orders and obey orders in a set way. This is something I prefer alot. In a few times where I have worked in a civilian office environment, this is something I miss. In addition, there's the military's favourite phase-Loyalty. I like to think of myself as a loyal person which apparently is a trait amongst people with aspergers, Due to my academic background I have many uni mates who are formally diagnosed with it and definitely have it alot worse than me. They struggle socially but for the friends they do have, they will go out of their way to help them. Even when working in a team they will work tirelessly. Likewise, I prefer to be in an environment where people work tirelessly for each other. Because for me, that's normal, military or not. Yes in the military you get people who jack on their mates but from my experience its much less compared to the civilian world. I struggle to accept the fact that people don't work tirelessly for each other.
 

Bkinkz19

Newbie
Hi

Once again, those now grown up are reaping what was down in earlier life. Aspergers, I would argue, is not autism, but an extreme form of stereotypically male behaviour. I've known several teenagers referred as "Is it Aspergers" whose parents were told "Nope, but he's definitely a bloke".

The reality is that the label sticks, and as such the condition is considered a bar to entry. This is because it is impossible to grade it: mild and severe is easy but when does mild become moderate and when does it become severe? Also, how would it be affected by isolation, being stuck in a messdeck with 38 others (some of whom may not be terribly Aspergers-esque)?

Ultimately it's the call of the AFCO ME but, as a uniformed MO, I'm not sure the condition is compatible with Service life. Sorry.

Great advice from ChiefTiff though- not all avenues are closed. On a separate note, lying on your application form is not a good idea. For a start, it's not very Aspergers at all! It also shows lack of conviction, honesty and we always find out. I can't quote figures, but those who make false claims on their forms get pulled up and thrown out- and asked not to bother re-applying. A pretty high-risk strategy.

AD
Hi angry doc I have the same issue but I have started the process of a misdiagnosis and its highly likely I will have the diagnosis quashed, I know this will take up to a year to achieve due to the huge nhs waiting times but when it's official I have been misdiagnosed how will I be looked upon in the medical
 

soleil

War Hero
Hi angry doc I have the same issue but I have started the process of a misdiagnosis and its highly likely I will have the diagnosis quashed, I know this will take up to a year to achieve due to the huge nhs waiting times but when it's official I have been misdiagnosed how will I be looked upon in the medical

Bk

AngryDoc wrote his post a good few years ago, when he was a regular contributor to this forum. He doesn't post on here nowadays, though.

Have you actually begun an application to join the Royal Navy?
 

Bkinkz19

Newbie
Bk

AngryDoc wrote his post a good few years ago, when he was a regular contributor to this forum. He doesn't post on here nowadays, though.

Have you actually begun an application to join the Royal Navy?
[/QUOTE
Hi I have started my application for the army yet I struggled to find any answers regarding this issue, I am at the medical part of the application and want to be certain that I won't fail before I send it off. I believed the army and navy's medical guidelines would be similar whilst I am also interested in the officer apprenticeships the navy offer.
 

soleil

War Hero
Hi I have started my application for the army yet I struggled to find any answers regarding this issue, I am at the medical part of the application and want to be certain that I won't fail before I send it off. I believed the army and navy's medical guidelines would be similar whilst I am also interested in the officer apprenticeships the navy offer.


The important thing is that you are absolutely honest when you complete the medical section, whether as part of an application to the Army or to the Navy, Bk.
 

Bkinkz19

Newbie
I will be honest on my form but I'm just wondering if a confirmed ASD misdiagnosis would put me at any difficulty in passing the medical
 

soleil

War Hero
I will be honest on my form but I'm just wondering if a confirmed ASD misdiagnosis would put me at any difficulty in passing the medical

It's difficult to know what to say, given that your application is to the Army rather than to the Royal Navy, Bk.

I'm fairly confident that, if your application were to the Navy, your case would be sent to the Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry) for consideration. Any other evidence would be looked at during this step.

Something which I think that you should know, is that a candidate's medical eligibility to join the Armed Forces is something determined by medical staff serving in the Armed Forces themselves; they look at cases in a way which is different to how civilian doctors might look at them.

There is a document which lays out the guidelines on medical eligibility for recruitment to the Armed Forces - it's called JSP 950 and is a Tri-Service Document. You may find some of it relevant to your case.


My advice to you is to be absolutely honest in every respect when completing your application to join the Army. It's really important that you are.

I don't think that the medical side of your application will be straightforward; I do think that your case will have to be considered carefully, so be prepared for this and for the fact that you will need to be patient while this is happening.

Be honest in your application - get it done as soon as you can. The submission of things relevant to your case is something you can think about when your application reaches that stage, there's no point in worrying now, you're simply trying to second-guess what the Army will do and that's not something you can do with any accuracy at all.

You should complete the medical side of your application with complete honesty and then take things from there.
 

Bkinkz19

Newbie
Hi
After talking with those familiar with the ASD misdiagnosis route the only way I could get misdiagnosed would be through a private doctor rather than waiting many years for the NHS waiting list to shorten, I spoke with my recruiter and she said it doesn't matter if they receive this info from someone working privately as long as they're a medical professional.
I am going to be 100% honest on my application form and will send of the medical ASAP before going private to be 100% a high functioning individual would've been denied entry, I have contacted my recruiter to ask if a failed medical will affect future medicals.
I read parts of the document which apply to my situation and I do believe that as I was a pre adolescence when diagnosed (14) there is a strong case to say I have simply grown out of it.
Thanks for your help and if there is any other info you feel could help me in this situation i would be glad to receive it.
 
I managed to get through a 26 year career in the Air Force as aircrew with three tours of Iraq only to discover on retirement that I had mild Asbergers, my life made sense and I could see why I had some weakness in communication and some difficulties dealing with highly stressful situations. I believe my job was done well and in some instances better then most could do but I believe Asbergers may hinder some decision making that could result in a life or death situation, so with the acknowledgment of Asbergers comes the need to have the strength to ask for help from others when you feel overwhelmed, to realise that some self reflection and a bit of guts to push yourself into uncomfortable situations will help to develop skills to improve the social outcomes in life. You may be able to join the military as I did and you would find out that despite your social difficulties you would be appreciated for the skills, work ethics, loyalty and all those positives that Aspies come with.
Good Luck
 

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