Job Counseling Questions You Asked: And Barbara Answered
1. The statistics indicate that roughly 80% of autistics (people with autism, if you prefer – I don’t) are unemployed or underemployed. I wonder what the stats would really be, as most of us who function well enough to hold a job are not “affected enough” by autism to have been diagnosed (at all, or until later in life, or by self-diagnosis only). Therefore, we’ve been excluded from these statistics. Especially since Aspergers was not a recognized diagnosis until 1993 (I think), and was not absorbed into the autism diagnosis until the DSM-5 came out in 2013.
2.My kiddo is only 8 years old so we do have a ways to go before worrying about the real world stuff like how he will handle the ups and downs of a job but this is a topic that does interest me. I am curious if there is any types of training courses for people with Autism to help them adjust to the environments that they will be introduced to when entering into the work force? Are there certain jobs that prove to be more difficult for people who are on the spectrum? If so, should these types of jobs be avoided for first timers or would it be helpful to show them how to adapted and overcome some of the struggles in these particular careers?
3.With regard to the session on Aspergers and employment, I am really interested in tips on how to deal with a boss who is a bully. I know that changing jobs would be an obvious answer, but this isn’t really a viable option for me right now and, apart from my difficult boss, my job is not all that bad. I work part-time in a records management role, which in some ways is ideal for my obsession for detail, although there are other obsessions such as writing for a living that I’d rather be working in (but that is a work in progress!) However, I experience ongoing anxiety about what my boss is going to find wrong with me next, which colours every day of my work in this job. Add that to the over-stimulation of working in an office and I am generally pretty exhausted by the end of the week, even though I’ve only spent 3 8-hour days at the job. I don’t want to spend the rest of my working life in this job and also have a part-time business teaching Pilates (which I love but don’t want to do full-time). I am looking at my future work options and how to get there but in the meantime, I really need to make this job work for me as it is the main source of income for me and my husband and I can’t afford to just leave it.
4.Do you recommend that someone tell their employer they have been told by their therapist they have Aspergers? My concern is that my employer could potentially use it against me.
5.It seems my NT co-workers are much more proficient than I at playing the office politics. I generally ignore the politics and just focus on doing my work with excellence. However, I have found that this puts me at a disadvantage at times as I am not brought into the “inner circle” as often as my NT co-workers. What is the best way to deal with this situation?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."