Handling personal cases

Handling personal cases

Remember that members with some neurodiverse differences may have difficulties with social interaction, interpersonal skills and non-verbal communications so bear in mind the following points when dealing with personal cases – these points will generally help with most of the personal cases that you deal with, but particularly for neurodiverse members:

  • members experience stress and anxiety in different ways and these are usually heightened during times of uncertainty such as dealing with their own personal case. Be aware that such times may exacerbate the member’s neurodiverse condition and their coping strategies may break down;

  • because of a possible sensitivity to noise, smells, light and so on choose a quiet and comfortable venue for meetings and interviews;

  • in some circumstances it may be appropriate to allow the member to invite a friend, colleague or a member of their family to accompany them to meetings and interviews;

  • try to ensure there is a structure and routine when dealing with your member’s case, if possible give them timetables and dates for responses;

  • be clear, concise and direct with your advice and guidance, which you may need to repeat from time to time;

  • follow-up meetings and telephone calls in writing;

  • ask the member what format for written communications is best for them – for example, emails, different coloured paper, larger font size;

  • keep in touch – just a short phone call for reassurance may suffice.

  Also be aware that some neurodiverse members may:

  • interpret information literally, or misinterpret what you tell them;

  • pay close attention to details over facts, paperwork and so on;

  • miss deadlines for responses to requests for information;

  • need to be closely involved in the case – for example, there may be flurries of emails or phone calls about their case;

  • conversely, they may appear to lack interest in their case.