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usernameca
@usernameca

Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 05, 2018

Autism & the difficulty of getting & doing a job

Posted by @usernameca, Fri, Sep 28 1:16pm

Have you noticed it is difficult to get hired? And if you do get hired, have you noticed how it’s almost impossible to do the job? If people with Autism don’t stand up for their rights, no one else is going to. And in my opinion, no one has.

REPLY

@usernameca It seems to me that autism is such a large umbrella term, and there are many subsets huddled together underneath it. Where someone may be on the spectrum, how it is manifested, etc. certainly can influence the best-fitting and successful employment situations. This is my humble opinion only, and your experience may be different. As someone on the spectrum, diagnosed at a later age, I found it helped me understand, in looking back, why some jobs were not a right fit. I often wonder how different the paths might have been if I knew then what I know now.
Ginger

That is a good point, @gingerw. We all have certain aptitudes as well as personal strengths for specific jobs. We don't all fit into the same cubbyhole in life and that applies to our choice of jobs as well.

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.

@kanaazpereira

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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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?

@usernameca I can only speak for myself. There were many fields I worked in, some more successfully than others. Success doesn't equate as to salary, for me, but goes towards comfort level, retained interest, and overall stress level. In my case, I leaned towards jobs that had a sense of pattern but not assembly line or cookie cutter. Now that I am fully retired after 45+yrs in the workplace, it is interesting to go back and take a more microscopic look at those jobs. My retirement was related to a medical condition.
Ginger

@kanaazpereira

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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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!

@usernameca

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?

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Hi, @usernameca. Guess what?!! You are not alone. My Mother had an enormous case of OCD. While I never have been diagnosed with it, I would definitely say I was affected by it.

Strong smells, filthy homes, clutter, and unwashed bodies made my work days very difficult as a Social Worker. I managed to survive, somehow. Now those things don't bother me nearly as much as they used to. But I will say that I have an immense appreciation for cleaning products.

And I confess, cleaning my home everyday is good therapy!

Good evening, @usernameca . Please forgive my random words. I had foot surgery so my thoughts are scatteted. I did not know I was Autistic until I was in my late fifties. Therefore, most of my jobs were applied for and I received training in when I was much younger. At the time I did not realize I would have benefited from support. There were no job coaches when I was starting out. It was sink or swim.

Now, however,there are resources available, books to read, classes to take, and kind hearted people to talk to before signing on the dotted line.

Even in rural areas there are people in the know, persons who are qualified to help with job training and placement. Look for the ones who consider Autism to be a different way of thinking, rather than a disease.

We can work together. We are better together.
Mamacita

@usernameca

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?

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Hi, @usernameca , I agree with all of you, actually! I worked in the school system for 18 years. It wasn't until I neared retirement that I found out for certain that I had ADHD, Autism, OCD, Anxiety, amongst my chronic back pain, Depression, and others. What tipped me off was when I left a classroom to complete important paperwork. I remarked to a coworker that I couldn't work in that room for all the noise. She said "What noise?"

I was aghast when all the pieces fell together. No wonder I couldn't get anything done. My hearing was off the charts, like dog level, almost. I had had trouble with noises all my life.

So much more that I could say. I would love to share with you and all the others. Perhaps if I shared more of the dark side, there would be more understanding out there in the world. If only they knew all we had to do to get where we are! Adios, my friend.
Mamacita

hi guys its a catch 22 to discuss whether you are an autie or not when applying for a job in the 80's some companies refused to employ me but was disabled but didn't know I was an autistic till I was 50 .I went and retrained first as an Anglican church minister then involved in a church war over my disability and also very rich parishioners offended that I as a trainee minister would challenge their views . then as a bio medical scientist then worked at night in pathology in a smaller team and fewer staff for me to have too interact with . One would think in the naughties workplaces are more enlightened but they are not one faces cruelty bullying intimidation and isolation even in the work place in todays work world .I think education and training and the type of training but it gets back to utilizing ones unique fall back stasis which brings you comfort . some autie are cool at coding and software there are artists etc. govt jibs would be easier for autie providing the managers have process of workplace adjustment and routine and employees are accommodating for your disabilities

The 80's?

Slowly things are changing. Large companies now want to have a diversified work force. They are seeking training, advice, etc. in how to do this. Not only how to best accommodate what an employee may need but also how to train managers and staff to understand what someone may need or not need, etc. I know the initial success stories are coming out in the IT field for those with Aspergers that are very talented with computers. However, there are also places that are working with people to do packaging and warehouse and creative fields as well. Don't give up as I think things are getting better for everyone with any type of disability or disabilities.

In my last job I was working in a state employment capacity. While I was not diagnosed as on the spectrum until very late in my work career, there had always been indicators that I was not neurotypical. Working 4 the people I did in that last job, they were happy with my abilities they were happy with my work product, but they had a difficult time with my personality. This came not only from my coworkers but also from management. They wanted me to have a smile plastered on my face the entire time I was there, and to participate in voluntary group activities that I had no interest in. They created an adverse environment for me to feel comfortable in. While I could have really raised the roof and gone the legal way to make them change, it would have taken such a toll on me. I would like to hope that I paved the way for others by the way that I was able to progress in that job. But it's very difficult when there is a mindset of everybody has to fit in. It's been proven time and time again that not everybody does.
Ginger

@gingerw

In my last job I was working in a state employment capacity. While I was not diagnosed as on the spectrum until very late in my work career, there had always been indicators that I was not neurotypical. Working 4 the people I did in that last job, they were happy with my abilities they were happy with my work product, but they had a difficult time with my personality. This came not only from my coworkers but also from management. They wanted me to have a smile plastered on my face the entire time I was there, and to participate in voluntary group activities that I had no interest in. They created an adverse environment for me to feel comfortable in. While I could have really raised the roof and gone the legal way to make them change, it would have taken such a toll on me. I would like to hope that I paved the way for others by the way that I was able to progress in that job. But it's very difficult when there is a mindset of everybody has to fit in. It's been proven time and time again that not everybody does.
Ginger

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@gingerw
It sounds as if you adapted to a rather difficult work environment very well, Ginger. You maintained your boundaries and did that which made you comfortable and you did a good job with your work assignments. All of that is a great example of how to take care of ourselves in the work force and yet remain true to our personal challenges. That took planning and courage on your part, good work!

Liked by gingerw

@gingerw

@usernameca It seems to me that autism is such a large umbrella term, and there are many subsets huddled together underneath it. Where someone may be on the spectrum, how it is manifested, etc. certainly can influence the best-fitting and successful employment situations. This is my humble opinion only, and your experience may be different. As someone on the spectrum, diagnosed at a later age, I found it helped me understand, in looking back, why some jobs were not a right fit. I often wonder how different the paths might have been if I knew then what I know now.
Ginger

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Thanks for responding. Can I ask, what was a job you applied for that you think was a good fit, looking back? Also, was it a Mayo psychiatrist who diagnosed you? If I knew what I know now, I probably would have spent most of my life staying home, watching TV. I'm not kidding. So it's a good thing that I didn't know what I know now. 🙂

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