HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Suitable Careers for Adults with High-Functioning Autism & Asperger's

"Are there some careers that people with autism do well in compared to others? My son (high functioning) will graduate from high school next year, and I am feeling a bit concerned about his future. His one and only interest currently is computers."

Because adults with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's (AS) have normal to high intelligence, they often go into some very interesting and lucrative careers when they get older. In many cases, the field they enter is related to one or more of those things they were fixated on as a child. For example, if child on the autism spectrum has a fixation on the weather, he or she can think about a career in meteorology.

Other careers include working in the music industry. People with HFA and AS often develop striking musical abilities and can then work in this field as a later career. 
 
Careers involving engineering, mathematics or science are also common in people with the disorder. This can include becoming an accountant, working in economics or scientific research, working as a university professor or other mathematical or scientific area. Often, the interest in math and science are natural gifts for these individuals, and the transition from avocation to vocation is usually a seamless one.

Careers in writing are not uncommon, too. Writing is a solitary task, and often times, the person on the spectrum can learn to use words on a page to create books, articles and other material that overcomes his or her natural need to think in pictures.

Usually, the process of exploring careers needs to be done sooner for people with HFA and AS than with "typical" people. Talking with guidance and career counselors is a good idea in order to explore possible options. Tours of different careers or shadowing a scientist or mathematician may help the "special needs" teenager to get an idea of which type of career would be the best for him/her.

Older teens on the pectrum should be doing plenty of reading about careers and jobs specific to those with the disorder. Two books, Aspergers Syndrome Employment Workbook: An Employment Workbook for Adults with Aspergers Syndrome (paperback) and Employment for Individuals with Aspergers Syndrome and Non-Verbal Learning Disability by Yvona Fast are available in some bookstores or at www.amazon.com. There are plenty of ideas as to how to begin searching for an appropriate career in these publications.

There is nothing to limit a young person to just the areas listed above. Many of these individuals have found success in other areas of employment. Pay attention to your son’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the interests he exhibits. The key idea here is that your son will excel in whatever area he has a strong passion for!

As one young man with Asperger’s stated:

“Here are the facts:
-I have Asperger Syndrome
-I am a 23-year-old guy
-I am in my last year of grad school doing an internship.
-I had a strong interest in many natural sciences as a younger child.
-I am an Eagle Scout.
-I was frequently bullied by others in middle school.
-I started my first year of college as a biology major.

-----HOWEVER-----

I am NOT a Rocket Scientist and
I am NOT a Zookeeper;
I am a Social Worker.

I don't technically have an established career or license just yet, but I have an internship and I'm getting really close. Since my first year of college I have experienced many emotional changes, and I realized that my place in society is to give direct help to those who cannot help themselves. It is my job in society to prevent young and innocent lives from being lost and destroyed. I have volunteered and worked for several different after-school programs, helping agencies, and day camps. My internship is with a children's mental health consultative services in my home state, and even though so far, it's been emotionally hardcore, I have no intentions of turning back.

My point is there may be some genetics involved in this disorder, and there may be some common patterns, but I really believe that people with Asperger's syndrome and other forms of autism on the high functioning end of the Autistic Spectrum actually CAN do things that many people believe they can't or deliberately don't do. Don't get me wrong, my own family, as well as many close others were shaming me into going back to the science field, and it made me feel very useless, but I simply refused to go back. They have long given up on their quest to get me 'back on track' (so to speak) because they finally came to realize that their resistance and my own deficits together were just no match for my passion.

I'm not advising those out there to enter this field or not enter it, but if you feel passionate about a cause of some kind, there has got to be a way you can fight for it. Though I wouldn't suggest discussing religion in your job, God really does work in mysterious ways. LOL”



==> Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... As Jon Willis said. His was computers as well and he has done that and managed to build onto it. Go with the flow while building up experience and courage to step out a little bit more. Aspies can do and will achieve. Mary Camp-Autism. Have you read this ?
•    Anonymous said... Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg are a part if an initiative to get high schools to start teaching code, which is something that a lot of aspergers kids really understand! Computers are a great career track for anyone!
•    Anonymous said... Contact the school. Does he have an IEP? If so, they can refer to voc rehab for transitional services. My daughter has ASD. She is very bright but could not cope in some classrooms & has IEP even with A's & B's. Every state has a Voc Rehab. They will be a job coach for him so he can test different jobs or they will offer college support. Both in effort to prepare him for the work force. Its a fed gvt program funnelled down to the states. Ultimately its an effort to rehab folks with disabilities so they can earn a living and not spend life on ssi/ssd


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•    Anonymous said... Have you watched the documentary on John Robinson,?
•    Anonymous said... I am quite sure that there are specialists in this area who assess those with ASD to assist in working out their strengths for this purpose!
•    Anonymous said... I know that is covered in the adult assessment here in Australia. Not sure about other places though. I wish you and your son all the best!!
•    Anonymous said... It has long been suggested that Bill Gates is an aspie. Computers will be enough if he decides to go that route.
•    Anonymous said... I've found that "growing up" is subjective, and often times, over rated. I don't think of it as moving out of my comfort zone, rather extending it into other areas.
•    Anonymous said... Many tech careers, engineering, art for some, a lot of aspie symptoms improve or refine with age and the aspie gifts start-a-shinin'
•    Anonymous said... My husband has Aspergers and he works in IT. He doesn't talk on the phone but in these times of smart phones he can be contacted pretty much anytime anywhere by email. It took him a long time to find a workplace in which he felt comfortable but I think that's the case for many people Aspergers or not!
•    Anonymous said... My husband has finally discovered Library Studies: cataloguing and little human contact!
•    Anonymous said... My son's therapist told me that most kids do better after high school.because they can focus on their interest, not a bunch of stuff they could careless about. Computers arent going away, so I would see about grants and scholarships to an ITT or other tech school for certifications and job position placement.
•    Anonymous said... Nothing wrong with a Career in computing, can command big bucks if you are lucky.
•    Anonymous said... Ps IT is often great for folks with ASD. Almost a perfect fit. Check out on youtube the documentary i watched on discovery on the story about John Robison. It will touch you & inspire you. It's called Ingenious Minds: John E. Robison. I am betting your son is much like him. Your son will be successful just hang in. I was where you are a year ago. My daughter is now in college. She does struggle every day but she is doing it one day at a time. Good luck to you & I hope the info is helpful
•    Anonymous said... Recently (last few years) I found out that I myself have aspergers. Since being diagnosed as a type one diabetic, I've been forcing myself into situations and roles that I find myself initially shying away from our despising the thought of, just to conquer my own psyche. Before being diagnosed with t1D, I had a crippling fear of needles, which as you can imagine I had to overcome quite quickly. This has become the mantra to my life. "You can do what your brain Screams you cannot. You only have to try." I'm now working in a face to face and phone based sales and solution position, and I'm loving it so far. I still occasionally get the old urges to retreat into my computer for solace and familiarity, but the more and more I squash those urges, the easier it becomes to face new challenges everyday. Any job, or role, would suit an ASD fine as a career, but they have to get comfortable with the idea of having challenging situations which trigger the "panic station" response to be overcome. It is possible, but to begin with it's not easy.
•    Anonymous said... The thing is, aspie kids have challenges but are most often quite gifted human beings. Geek chic baby. I think Sheldon on TBBT is wildly popular because he nails it in a lot of endearing ways.
•    Anonymous said... With many Aspergers people it takes longer to what some people would say"grow up" and be mature enough to take on roles away from our comfort zone.

No comments:

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