Gavin, the owner of the blog then carried out his own “quick and dirty” survey which found the figure in his group to be around 11%…but my guess is that’s probably a bit low.
My estimate would be around 20% - although to be honest as we all know there are “lies, damn lies and statistics!”
News flash - Having had a little surf further around the net the statistics are actually quite staggering certainly in the UK…
A number of sites quote the unemployment rate for people with Aspergers as 88% - and this statistic seems to originate from the highly-respected and knowledgable National Autism Society.
Scary stuff indeed…
But what can you as parents do to stop this becoming a reality for your child?
Well pretty much what you are doing already…judging by many of the excellent emails that I get in from so many of you.
In conjunction with school it is so essential to get your child’s social skills, interactional skills etc. as up to speed as is humanly possible.
When the time gets closer for your child to be thinking of work, then as parents you need to be really proactive in bringing this topic to your child and helping them to look for opportunities.
Plan out what your child would like to do and what looks achievable for your child - bearing in mind their own particular issues with regard to sensory stimulation, crowding, understanding
Each child is different and so there is no catch-all solution.
But involve your child in decisions all along the way - don’t do it for them.
Then it may well mean contacting local businesses and working closely with the school and careers service in identifying a suitable employer who will have a sensitivity to your child’s needs.
An honest and straight forward explanation of Aspergers and what it means can help a great deal of employers who are happy to give people a chance - but are maybe wary or scared of the label Aspergers, simply because they don’t understand it.
Then it’s up to your child (often with support at first) to be able to convince the employer that they can do the job.
One tactic may be to ask for a 2/4 week unpaid trial in which your child can be given support to learn the ropes and then impress the boss sufficiently to get a permanent job.
There is a web page at NAS that would be helpful for you to mention to a potential employer (or even print off the details and actually take to show them): http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=444
If you wish to read more of Gavin’s Aspergers blog go to: