A useful article by Eileen Parker, on fitting into the work environment as someone on the spectrum. Read other good posts on her website http://www.eileenparker.com/
A traditional work environment can be challenging for someone on the autistic spectrum, especially if they have trouble with face-to-face interactions, vague or unspoken rules, changes to routine, and even harsh lighting. For many autistics, freelancing from home allows them to avoid some of these problems. Rev is a fast-growing transcription company that offers a user-friendly and predictable online experience for freelance transcribers, who get to choose their projects and how much they’d like to work. If you’re a fast typist looking for hassle-free assignments, why not give them a try?
The nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas (USA) is a non-profit that teaches programming skills to adults with autism, and helps them find work making games, apps and other software products. Many of the students are employed by nonPareil itself, through its contracting arm. Some autistics are gifted programmers, but lack the social aptitude to fit into a typical workplace. nonPareil fills the gap by offering both training and an autistic-friendly workplace. Apart from imparting skills, the Institute also allows students to interact with like-minded peers in a supportive environment. nonPareil is planning to expand to other cities in the US, and welcomes donations. The Institute was recently featured on NBC Nightly News, and there are more videos (like the one below) on the nonPareil Youtube channel. BTW, if you’re wondering about the odd spelling of the name, ‘nonpareil’ is a French term meaning ‘none equal’ (apparently, the French don’t capitalise quite like the rest of us!).
About 90% of adults with autism are unemployed, so kudos to any employer that makes an effort to give them a chance and reduce that percentage. The Matador Coffee Shop in Scottsdale Public Library (Arizona, USA) has done just that, teaming up with The Southwest Austism Research and Resource Center to employ Jon, a barista with Aspergers. [Story & video via ABC 15]
“This was the first company that gave me a chance,” said Jon who has been looking for a job for the past six years.
If you have Asperger’s and are wondering what to do for a living, why not check out this forum thread from psychforums.com? From delivery drivers, to graphic designers, to lab technicians. Lots of useful insights on the pros and cons of different lines of work, from an Aspie perspective.
The part of my job when I need to try to think in the way as other people think – potential customers and clients – is the part I really dislike very much on my job, it makes me anxious and it is responsible for impairments of my symptoms. I like only technical and esthetical part of my job. If I could choose I would definitely change my job. I would like to do something more healthy, somewhere on the fresh air and under the daylight, I hate so much artificial lights or completely dark rooms. [quote from forum member]