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usernameca (@usernameca)

Autism & the difficulty of getting & doing a job

Autism (ASD) | Last Active: Jul 31 10:12pm | Replies (60)

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Hi @usernameca,

I'm also tagging Mentor @mamacita @sirgalahad to bring them into this conversation.

Along with advocating, I do think that educating people and employers, about the benefits of hiring those on the autism spectrum, is crucial as well. People are hesitant because they are unfamiliar with how a person with autism will perform on a job. Employers need to be made aware about the tremendous skills that those with autism can bring to the work place.

Another reason education is important is that today's work culture has shifted focus to include communication and 'social' skills, as criteria for hiring – and from what I've learned, on Connect and elsewhere, this is not easy for many on the autism spectrum. So, if employers or interviewers are educated and can understand the behavior or actions of a potential candidate who may have autism, the process and the opportunity for getting a job would be far better.

These are just my thoughts, and I'd really like to learn more from all your insights.

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Replies to "Hi @usernameca, I'm also tagging Mentor @mamacita @sirgalahad to bring them into this conversation. Along with..."

Yes, I agree. People who know me would consider me "high functioning," if that term is still used. That's because I have a high IQ and am well-educated. But to be honest, I don't think there is any job that I could hold down. I could not even do janitorial work, because part of my autism is my severe OCD that I've been diagnosed with. Any job that has to do with germs, food, blood, fluids, etc., I would just be extremely stressed out doing, and I'd have to stop doing. Any thoughts?

Hi,@Kanaaz Pereira,good to meet you! My friends Samantha Craft, Judy Endow, and Jeanette Purkis Au can give you all kinds of information about Auties in the workplace

I can tell you about my own personal experiences. I was in the Talented and Gifted program in junior high school. Such as it was. Basically it only meant

that we few high scorers were sent to the "better" junior high school so we could prepare for university training.. That was it. Nothing else.Apparently no one suspected I had Aspergers at that time. I scored high on everything, was a bit quirky, so they just pegged me as a bit different.

When I first started working after University, I would take notes whenever my supervisor would give directions in staff meetings. I noticed no one else wrote down notes. But I HAD to take notes.Like many Auties, I am not an auditory learner. I process auditory information slowly. With the only exception being my ability to figure out how to play a song on the piano just by hearing it. One time.

When I first started working I did not realize that co-workers would not want to befriend me right away. When it was time for lunch in the breakroom, I joined my office mates at the same table. That was a huge no-no.

After a while I realized that I probably should just eat at my desk. It made me feel so isolated. I couldn't understand what I had done wrong, but I felt like they didn't like me. I knew I had broken some unwritten rule.

Later on, I managed to make friends . They told me I hadn't done anything wrong, but that unfortunately, my office mates were stuck up and just plain rude. That they didn't like anyone really, except themselves.

I will always be grateful to those friends who took me under their wing. Today we have various groups in my area that provide training and support to help young people find jobs. For more information, try looking up Actually Autistic and Supporty McGroupface. Read blogs and books by the individuals named earlier.

Hope to "talk" more with you soon!

You are correct! People fear the unknown so unless they have had experience with a disability or a diverse individual they will not "get it". Good news is that many many companies are moving towards diversity hiring initiatives. Not only to hire but to educate their current employees, understand accommodations, etc. It is a slow process because of so many people involved but at conferences, etc. all the buzz is about this and how to make the change etc. Hope is on the horizon!