Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults

Approximately 80% of grown-ups with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism (HFA) do not have full-time jobs – not because they can’t do the work, but because they often have difficulty being socially acceptable while they get the work done.

Bad Jobs for Individuals with Aspergers—
  • Air traffic controller -- Information overload
  • Airline ticket agent -- Deal with mad individuals when flights are cancelled
  • Cashier -- making change quickly puts too much demand on short-term working memory
  • Casino dealer -- Too many things to keep track of
  • Futures market trader -- Totally impossible
  • Receptionist and telephone operator -- Would have problems when the switch board got busy
  • Short order cook -- Have to keep track of many orders and cook many different things at the same time
  • Taking oral dictation -- Difficult due to auditory processing problems
  • Taxi dispatcher -- Too many things to keep track of
  • Waitress -- Especially difficult if have to keep track of many different tables

Good Jobs for Visual Thinkers—
  • Animal trainer or veterinary technician -- Dog obedience trainer, behavior problem consultant
  • Automobile mechanic -- Can visualize how the entire car works
  • Building maintenance -- Fixes broken pipes, windows and other things in an apartment complex, hotel or office building
  • Building trades -- These jobs make good use of visual skills but some individuals will not be able to do them well due to motor and coordination problems.
  • Commercial art -- Advertising and magazine layout can be done as freelance work
  • Computer animation -- Visual thinkers would be very good at this field, but there is more competition in this field than in business or industrial computer programming. 
  • Computer programming -- Jobs available especially in industrial automation, software design, business computers, communications and network systems
  • Computer-troubleshooter and repair -- Can visualize problems in computers and networks
  • Drafting -- Engineering drawings and computer aided drafting. This job can offer many opportunities. Drafting is an excellent portal of entry for many interesting technical jobs.
  • Equipment designing -- Many industries, often a person starts as a draftsman and then moves into designing factory equipment
  • Factory maintenance -- Repairs and fixes factory equipment
  • Handcrafts of many different types such as wood carving, jewelry making, ceramics, etc.
  • Laboratory technician -- Who modifies and builds specialized lab equipment
  • Photography -- Still and video, TV cameraman can be done as freelance work
  • Small appliance and lawnmower repair -- Can make a nice local business
  • Video game designer -- Jobs are scarce and the field is overcrowded.
  • Web page design -- Find a good niche market can be done as freelance work

Good Jobs for Non-Visual Thinkers—
  • Accounting -- Get very good in a specialized field such as income taxes
  • Bank Teller -- Very accurate money counting, much less demand on short-term working memory than a busy cashier who mostly makes change quickly
  • Clerk and filing jobs -- knows where every file is
  • Computer programming -- Less visual types can be done as freelance work
  • Copy editor -- Corrects manuscripts. Many individuals freelance for larger publishers
  • Engineering -- Electrical, electronic and chemical engineering
  • Inventory control -- Keeps track of merchandise stocked in a store
  • Journalist -- Very accurate facts, can be done as freelance
  • Laboratory technician -- Running laboratory equipment
  • Library science -- reference librarian. Help individuals find information in the library or on the Internet.
  • Physicist or mathematician -- There are very few jobs in these fields. Only the very brilliant can get and keep jobs.
  • Statistician -- Work in many different fields such as research, census bureau, industrial quality control, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, etc.
  • Taxi driver -- Knows where every street is
  • Telemarketing -- Get to repeat the same thing over and over, selling on the telephone. Noisy environment may be a problem. In telephone sales, you avoid many social problems.
  • Tuning pianos and other musical instruments, can be done as freelance work

Jobs for Nonverbal Individuals with Aspergers—
  • Copy shop -- Running photocopies. Printing jobs should be lined up by somebody else.
  • Data entry -- If the person has fine motor problems, this would be a bad job
  • Factory assembly work -- Especially if the environment is quiet
  • Fast food restaurant -- Cleaning and cooking jobs with little demand on short-term memory
  • Janitor jobs -- Cleaning floors, toilets, windows and offices
  • Lawn and garden work -- Mowing lawns and landscaping work
  • Plant care -- Water plants in a large office building
  • Recycling plant -- Sorting jobs
  • Re-shelving library books -- Can memorize the entire numbering system and shelf locations
  • Restocking shelves -- In many types of stores
  • Warehouse -- Loading trucks, stacking boxes

Many adults with Aspergers and HFA have a hard time finding jobs now. What will the jobless rate be for that group when — if current statistics are correct — the 1 in 50 children who have Aspergers try to become employed? As it is now, lots of adults with Aspergers are looking for full-time jobs, but their gifts are not recognized.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples


•    Anonymous said...  As a spouse of an aspie for 24 years, working together I a business, it becomes terribly demoralising when you are ways wrong and told why. The comment in here about that was liberating to me to realise that it is a trait, not me just being useless.
•    Anonymous said... I believe my father is an undiagnosed Asperger, he dominates conversation, is always right and inflexible, he goes on and on about himself and his current interests..my mom and he have been married 60 years..God bless her soul..but I also will try to keep in mind that he cannot help it..and I shall just listen respectfully..too late for him to get any sort of social therapy.
•    Anonymous said... I was taught to hide the outward behaviors of this disorder. In my mother's defense, they WOULD take kids, put helmets on em on a state home, back then. Thankfully, there's a bit more understanding now. I still struggle with shame and guilt. And it's pretty automatic to mask behaviors. *shrug it's a Spectrum. We are a wide range of supra-normal behaviors
•    Anonymous said... I wish I would've known about my Asperger Syndrome prior to going to college. I would've done something much different.
•    Anonymous said... I'm a teacher. And a bloody good one. And I have Asperger Syndrome. Remember it's a spectrum. Think of teaching as the effective transition of information to achieve the maximum effect (progress).
•    Anonymous said... im studying to be a teacher!!! oh gward...
•    Anonymous said... there are no best and worst jobs. autistics are individuals with a very wide variety of talents, skills and interests. the best job for any one person is not the best job for another. likewise with worst jobs. if anything, the best thing for an autistic to do is to not follow typical expectations and standards and do what works best for him or her.

Post your comment below…


Anonymous said...

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

nerd bird said...

I can really relate to this article. I am a 30 y/o female with Asperger's. I am very intelligent and graduated from college 7 years ago with a BFA and I cannot find a job to save my life. I can't even get hired for a crappy minimum wage job. I wish I had seen this list (and been diagnosed with Asperger's) before I started college so that I could have made a better choice about what I studied. I'm obsessed with books and I think I would really like being a librarian. It's too late now though, I can't afford to go back to school, so I'll probably be unemployed for the rest of my life. I feel so much despair and hopelessness about this, I wish I would just drop dead.

Lorraine said...

Yah I made the mistake of majoring in pure math, which the author of the article had the good sense to put on the short list of majors to avoid. In 20/20 hindsight I should have seen that the 'Sputnik effect' was about creating math/science academic career opportunities specifically for the Baby Boom generation.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Nerd"
"It's too late now though, I can't afford to go back to school, so I'll probably be unemployed for the rest of my life."

Just wanted to offer words of encouragement. It's never too late. Although it may feel that way, I know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. For example, you mentioned you love books. This has a plethora of opportunity. I believe many Aspies (my son included) have enhanced creative ability because of their ability to analyze things in-depth. I would encourage you to leverage your passion for books as they provide opportunity to learn new things and insight to changing your thought patterns to be more open and self-encouraging. You can use books to study on topics of interest and think of creative ways to offer your knowledge to people who may need it. I would look to online/digital publishing as an avenue to explore. I just know you can accomplish your passion. Don't believe you can't. Best of luck

Anonymous said...

I have aspergers traits and dyspraxia. My problem is not social skills but my communication skills are not excellent.

I live in the UK. I have a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, PGDip in Actuarial Studies, professional qualification in Statistics.

I wanted to become in Statistician/Data Analyst.

I cannot work in sales. I think I may have trouble work in a client - facing role.

I have worked in a call centre as a telemarketer for a period of a year but it is an easy call centre. I could not work in a call centre permanently. I am not the best person. I cannot undertake manual work, shop work or administration work because I have dyspraxia(most people with AS have dyspraxia).

The real problem is the competitive nature of th economy across the world. IT and Engineering jobs have disappeared due to outsourcing.

I am over-qualified for non - graduate jobs.

Statisticians are in demand, few people want to be statisticians.

Support is primarily targeted at children and lower able adults.

No one knows how to support adults with AS.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. One thing though, obedience trainer and veterinary tech might not be a good choice for some on the Autistic Spectrum. In these fields, it is important to have great social and people skills. A good part of training a dog is in training the owner how to train the dog. Also, if you have executive dysfunction, it may be hard to implement and follow steps to get to the ultimate goal - a very important thing in training. I worked in the animal care industry previously and it wasn't a good match for me. Too much social skill required. It was high stress and high pressure as well.

Lorraine said...

Virtually all jobs require social skills. That's the whole problem. For example, the only line of paid work I have ever really succeeded at is data entry. 'Back office' roles such as that are obviously the most trivially easy jobs to outsource. The key to autistic self-empowerment is changing that equation globally. The good news is that (as evidenced by this post in this blog) the autism parents care about the employment prospects of autistic adults. The question is, if we and our allies do succeed at creating an 'autistic friendly' (or more broadly, 'introvert friendly') labor market, will it be in some sense 'artificial;' involving subsidized jobs, make-work jobs, 'sheltered' jobs, etc. Personally, I don't think we should limit our options to things market fundamentalists would approve of. I also think at some point we will be living in a 'post-employment' economy, across the board. At that point, it makes a big difference whether the public is considered to have an equity share (i.e. a dividend) in the automation systems and other capital assets that make GDP possible and paid employment impossible. If not, society will consist of people with portfolios big enough to live on, living of course in gated communities or the equivalent, and the rest of us, for whom life will be nasty, brutish and short.

Lorraine said...

In other words, I would urge everyone to think of autistic workers (or worker wannabees, as the case may be) as a sort of canary in the coal mine.

Maureensk said...

Thanks very much for this post. My son is 19 and struggling with this very issue. BTW, we are in the process of going through the Depart of Vocational Rehabilitation, which is supposedly very helpful or people with Asperger's. They even said that they might be able to help with college expenses. I'm not sure if the DOVR is a federal thing or if each state has their own such program with different names....

J said...

Great article, this will be very helpful in steering my son when the time comes.

Nerd, sorry to hear you so disheartened. It can be hard when it feels like the whole world is wired to work against you. You love books but can't see yourself being able to complete a librarian course...what about a book store? Or have you ever thought about writing a book? Or working from home as a proof reader etc. There are correspondance courses that you can pay off over a period of time. You may also be able to get help with funding due to having a disability. There are a lot of options, it can seem overwhelming sometimes but it's worth exploring.

Good luck and many hugs. xox

Scott said...

I would focus on Asperger strengths rather than dwell on the negatives. I would read Dale Carnegie - "how to win friends and influence people". He provides a formula that is basic psychology, but highly effective.

Focus is an AS strength - find a subject and attack it. Start your own company, invent things, or use your brain capacity for good deeds.

I see AS like a video game. Some players are fast, and others are strong, but no one has booth.

Anonymous said...

As a librarian with Aspergers I would not recommend it for most people. There are actually major social and political aspects that are nigh unto impossible.

Pure "cataloging" with no public contact such as possibly at a large univerisity or maybe the Library of Congress. Also there is now a strong information science component. Check out the School of Information Science at the University of Michigan for an example.

Liking books is actually only part of succeeding in libraries. Most of us now spend much little time at work reading and much time interacting.

So far I usually get away with being considered eccentric by most people but it is not anything to count on.

peter j rowley said...

i have only recently discovered i have adult aspergers since march 2011, i did have a job in retail for 26 years. As i have short term memory problem as today i was trying to train as a forklift truck driver but i kept forgetting how to drive correctly so i failed.
you've given me new idea's for what jobs to lookout for..
peter Rowley UK 17th May 2011

Keith Miller said...

As an adult with Asperger's who DOES have a job, and has had a job since I left university (and even when I was studying), I have to say that I see too many sob stories here. No one, no god and no world owes you anything so suck it up. Maybe I have been lucky enough that my dubious social skills have been tolerated due to my reasonable work skills, but somehow I have always been able to find work and get in the door. I now earn well over 6 figures a year in software and engineering and I am only in my mid 30's, married and two daughters one of which also has Asperger's.

As per another post by Scott if you can't find work it's probably not your Asperger's, but just general negative outlook and looking to blame someone or something. Start looking at the positives and work with those. Come up with ways to sell your positive traits.

Specifically to "Nerd" wishing you would drop dead isn't going to get you anywhere; only *you* can make positive changes in your life.

If this post seems somewhat harsh then I apologize, but sometimes people need a little encouragement to pull out that proverbial finger do they not?

As for me I still have a lot of bad social skills and I've found the best way to handle that is to let it out when at home (although I'm trying to reign those in a little too) and keep as best a lid on it when out in public. Lucky for me my wife is very understanding and maybe even luckier as things turned out I now work from home. Due to this the typical comment when I do go out is "You don't get out much, do you?"

Anyway I have said enough... I hope at least one person is motivated to turn things around for themselves after reading my drivel. Thanks.

Erin Muise said...

I have Asperger's, but I don't fit the image some still have of the disorder. Not all Aspie's love math and computers, drawing, drafting etc. I personally need more interaction than some of these jobs you recommend or I would be very bored.
I am 36, female, and happily married for almost 3 yrs. to a security guard who is a self-described nerd. We have no kids yet, and we will have to get more organized (one of my weaknesses is I'm not) if we ever do.
Also, I can't drive due to clumsiness. Yes, gym class was a huge nightmare!! I also get lost easily and have trouble using a map (visio-spatial processing problems).
I have a BA- French literature major- was originally an English major. I hate computers and would have found computer and accounting intolerable and difficult. I have probably gotten over most of the social aspects of Asperger's as I have quite a few friends (but am no social butterfly).
I enjoy gardening, kids, and writing. I earn some money writing at Helium.com
I love learning to cook and bake better. We are learning some money saving strategies and love reward programs, too. I like to take part in psych research surveys for $/incentives, and am a member of a number of survey panels online. Since I have never worked more than part time, this comes in handy.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Nerd",
Please don't lose hope. Sometimes things seem hopeless...but keep focused on finding a solution. Unemployment is a problem many (including those without disorders) now face.

My dad was mid-program at a University--wanted to be a teacher. Had 2 kids and a wife and realized he couldn't make enough money. So he switched programs and got a degree in business instead...Then out of school, he could only find retail sales jobs.

His heart was in teaching so he delivered newspapers and made pizzas while supporting his now family of 5--so he could go back and finish his teaching degree.

Like many others, he made sacrifices, was creative and persistent...and you can too.

God will open up doors if you look to Him. He loves you and made you unique and special. You have so much to offer others; it just may take time to discover your path.

God bless you, Michelle

peter j rowley said...

Peter Rowley from UK.

I have just started a new job as a parttime traffic marshal, i wear hi-viz uniform & direct traffic at sporting events & pop concerts. I have been told that we will be needed at the olympics in London 2012.

Rachel Silverman said...

I have Asperger's. I love math and languages - but I found tax accounting to be deathly boring and very unappealing. I am much happier doing language translation work. I am currently fluent in Spanish and am gradually becoming fluent in Russian. I believe you should add document translation work to the list of good jobs for people with Asperger's.

You should also indicate some qualifications with regard to accounting and tax because I found social skills were more important than intellectual ones in tax and accounting / auditing alike. I have a masters in taxation that I don't use because of it. I don't think accounting or tax work is highly suitable for folks like me with Aspergers.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend "Be Different", thew new book by John Elder Robison. He talks about how he worked hard to obtain some social skills to work with others - to a degree. While recognizing that Asperger's is a spectrum condition, it is refreshingly positive overall, and focuses on what "Aspergians" CAN do, not what they can't.

Incidentally, has anyone seen more complex tics in children with Asperger's? My 6-year old daughter is on the very low spectrum - is pretty social overall with an advanced vocabulary and reading level but shows a complex motor tic when she's particularly engaged with her imagination (drawing, playing dolls with her sister.) The hand that is not busy kind of dances, or paints in the air (it's actually quite beautiful, sometimes, but attracts stares and questions from others and I'm worried about teasing and mostly worried about unqualified and misguided guidance counselors pouncing on this as representative as something more serious than it is.) It's never when she's agitated or upset, but, as she puts it, "My thoughts are so strong...", or "I'm making it move," (in context of drawing), and occurs only when her imagination is engaged. Anyone have experience with this, or leads to literature about it?

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow Keith Miller, could you be a bit more offensive??? People are discouraged because life has been extra difficult. Saying "suck it up" doesn't help at all. Then again, I'm not really being nice either! As for me, I have been on anti-depressants and studying cognitive therapy and self-improvement for over a decade --- but that is only to help me be on the same level as "normal" people. I have about 4 years worth of college + university including a diploma in graphic arts. Unfortunately in this economy graphic design and web design are also being outsourced to India or idiots who charge like 5$ per month for a complete website or else people just do it themselves. But I do feel self-employment is the best route for me, whether it's illustration or lawn mowing or whatever. It saves you from the dreaded office politics!

Anonymous said...

Keith Miller,

If you're trying to give people a little encouragement, you're doing it the wrong way. Someone who is discouraged and comes across your post is likely to become even more discouraged. People only become discouraged after the "positive thinking" approach and the "suck it up, get over it" approach that you advocate, as well as lots of other approaches, have already failed them. Your advice comes across as naive and, if someone who read your advice had the misfortune of thinking they should listen to you, it would probably make that person feel even more negative about themselves than they did before, thus reinforcing their negative outlook.

People who have reached the point of despair after years and years of struggling don't need to be berated for feeling frustrated. They need understanding. And you need to understand and appreciate that life is hard for most people out there, and you're one of the lucky ones if you can just "suck it up."

I only tell you this because it really does seem like you're trying to give good advice. If you want to give good advice, try to keep in mind that you've been blessed in your professional life and not everyone is as lucky.

Anonymous said...

I worked for nine years for a telecom company in their tier one support. I had to answer phones, so it involved a lot of verbal comm. but no eye contact needed. You do have to be able to access short term memory, but most of it is technical, more long term troubleshooting; it is not for every AS person for sure but I handled it well. I have not been dx'd with AS but I have two children who have and I fit their characteristics in many ways, having outgrown some of them as a child. One thing that has helped my suspected AS is having children with it. In order to be their mouthpiece I have HAD to put my anxiety about social stuff aside. My husband also has many AS qualities, probably why we hooked up. Haha.

senior day care centers said...

For people with this kind of disorder, the key to prevent suffering later on in life is early intervention.

downlowaspie said...

I was recently diagnosed with AS despite being outwardly successful. The best advice that I ever received is that we have to live in the real world. I understand Sartre's comment that hell is other people. Nonetheless, it does get better over time. Hang in there fellow Aspies. Sooner or later you will find a career at which you will succeed. All that it takes is the one chance for someone to see your talents

Anonymous said...

Like Anonymous, I have found call centre jobs to be great for Aspies - I work in a moderately techie finance call centre. It helps so much that there is no face-to-face contact with the clients. I'm sure my boss and workmates find me odd, but the callers like me and I havent been unemployed for 11 years.

Anonymous said...

My career is a PhD-level biomedical cancer researcher. Scientific research attracts a lot of people with Asperger's traits. However, as one commenter pointed out: social skills are important for nearly every job. My quirky social skills have definitely contributed to lost opportunities, closed doors, burned bridges, and an apparently stalled-out career trajectory. On the other hand, a lower level position not requiring me to supervise others allows me to be more, not less, productive and feels so much better. I can relate to John Elder Robison's story of leaving the executive suite and getting back to doing what one is good at--even if a paycut happens. Science is a good job for many with Asperger's--but do be aware of formally learning neurotypical social skills! It will help in any field.

Anonymous said...

I've got a job as an embedded programmer. But the workplace is just driving me crazy. It's a chaotic, messy, open-plan office with bad acoustics, and a very social group of people working there. Some of them are ADHD. Even many "normal" people complain about it. I spend my day drowning it out in music.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear more about older teenage girls with aspergers, I have concerns about my daughter, who is aging out of school


Keith Miller,
Ok, I agree with everyone, if you are trying to give encouragement, you are doing it the wrong way. You must learn how to choose your words better and learn consideration for others and their feelings and opinions, you must learn to respect them. I know its a hard lesson to learn with Aspergers, but if you try to be more respectful and considerate, you will get a whole lot more respect. To Nerd, i hear you hunnie, but its never too late to pursue your future as a librarian,as to regards of finding a job, Im having a difficult time too, believe me. I got lucky i got another position at Popeyes as a lobby hostess for 5/days a week, 2-3 hours, It's not much, but i am also attending Keiser University studying for my associates in Science in Medical Assisting. Im 26 and was diagnosed with Aspergers when i was 15. My advice for you is to never give up, always keep your head held high. Every job interview you go to, be professional, respectful, and be as postitive and confident as you can, everytime i went to a job interview, they always loved that about me. I have a good feeling your future's going to be very bright, I hope my advice helps you!:)
To everyone else, I agree with all of you! Yes, people in the workforce do need to be more tolerant to work with people, not just only with Aspergers, but with all disabilities as well, and Colleges and Universities need to be more aware of that as well. People with AS/Autism should not have to be forced to be driven into:
1. Accepting the fact that they can only work minimum wage jobs, barely making it all their lives.
2.Filing for full disability just because much our american society and many corporations refuse to accept and work with a person with AS and Autism.
How people treat us in this country is totally unacceptable, none of us should tolerate it, you know what i mean guys? It's not that we cannot handle working, its the sole fact that People don't want to deal with people with disabilities, that is such a heartbreaking fact, it breaks my heart for all those looking for jobs, many cooperations not giving them a chance. Yeah, we have our limits and flaws, but everyone does. I love the article though so true and very helpful. Yeah, i tried fast food cashiering, NEVER AGAIN,LOL! I have problems with my short-term and social skills as well, it's really amazing how AS is being spoken of without fear. I wish all of you nothing but best wishes, the lords blessings to be upon all of you! Feel free to reply to my post my friends, especially if getting my associates in Medical Assisting's a good idea or not, or simply if you have any advice and encouragement from me. And to the one who posted about Vocational Rehab, the only thing i benefited from that was just getting a part-time minimal wage job, if they claim they can help your child with college, don't hold your breath. I say that due to the lengthy process of getting services from them and due to the status of our economy, thanks to our government for their careless actions. I would suggest you look into FASFA and Scholarships for your child, im just simply saying do not trust Vocational rehab pertaining to that. :) I hope all my advice and loving encouragement helps! :)

magnetite said...

I'm currently looking for a new job, and I'm glad I've come across this.

I have Aspergers with a mild brain injury (hydrocephalus). Pretty much the only thing is my short term memory, fine motor skills, and a couple other things.

Anyways, all these career tests say I'd be good at working in an office or some sort of IT job. I am A+ Certified, so I could get a computer tech job. I also went back to school and trained in Microsoft Excel and Word 2010 Advanced level.

As for office jobs, being a secretary or anything front office is out. I'm not really that sociable, so I'll take as little people contact as possible. Behind the scenes is where it's at for me.

I've heard a lot of talk about data entry being obsolete or outsourced, that was my next choice. Next think after that was something to do with filing or record keeping.

My mom has mentioned about having my own business, but I don't know that would turn out.

Anonymous said...

I am a aspie attending a local community college, I have found that I do not really do not have creative skills such as art, but I do enjoy Science courses such as biology and chemistry.

In my first year I started a three year Biotechnology course from which I enjoyed but there was a tremendous work load so I reduced my course load, I still failed the semester, I found there was alot of research involved and I found this difficult.

This year I started a 1 year Medical lab technician course that I have found to be much more forgiving and more of a repitive learning experience which fit me much better.

It seems that there are different intelligence levels of aspies but it is the lack of social skills that binds us. One aspie could be computer programmer and have a brilliant I.Q. or another could be a custodian.

Every Job requires social skills but in these words I think as aspies we prefer actual work talk and instructions rather then workplace gossip or joking around.
If you find a job you like you will learn how to socialize well in that langauge.

I think some good jobs for aspies in the medical field would be:

-Medical Lab Assistant/Technician
-Madical Transcriptionist

I have found that all of the aspies I have met are attending college and are the most determined people you will ever meet. No disability will bring us down because we have something that can beat our diabilty; our drive to suceed!

Anonymous said...

My hubby has aspergers. He is a senior biomedical scientist, and works full time. :) I admire aspies for their intelligence!! Our older 2 sons r showing traits of aspergers, we r at the moment aiting for assessments.

concernedmum said...

reading this article makes me, a mum of a 13 year old aspie wonder how I can prepare him for the work world, he loves sport, I have been thinking about sports teaching, swimming teaching or umpire for soccer?

I keep thinking he might not make it to college so we need something practical.

It makes me sad to think about how important social and emotional skills are just to get through an interview, never mind how to get through every day at work.

Anonymous said...

I'm an aspie myself and I laughed so hard at some of the bad jobs. I can already see myself trying to deal cards at a casino and then finding out I'm standing at the roulettetable... I'd be teribble XD

I once made the mistake of getting a summerjob as a telemarketeer. I lasted for a whopping 24 hours before panicking and running out the door with the cord of the headset wrapped around my ankle. (Customer: "hey missy, are you being sarcastic?" me: "I dunno... are you?")

I now study to be a website designer and I'm writing sci-fi/horror novels in my free time. Much, much better! :)

Lori said...

I also now study to be a website designer. It looks like it might be an overcrowded field, but two things are in its favor:

1. My activities so far as an "enthusiast" (or "wannabee") developer/web designer give me profound joy.

2. Perhaps "portfolio" can be persuaded to substitute for such introvert filters as "resume," "interview," and "references."

Website designer being so 2002, I'm also trying to figure out how to write Android "apps."

Anonymous said...

My brother is 21 and my husband and I support him because he cannot find or hold down a job and is failing college. I am at my wits end and I do not know what to do. He doesn't seem to have any of the skills to get any of these jobs.

Anonymous said...

"concernedmum said...

reading this article makes me, a mum of a 13 year old aspie wonder how I can prepare him for the work world, he loves sport, I have been thinking about sports teaching, swimming teaching or umpire for soccer?"

Hi concernedmum, hope you still read these boards, if you do and your son has a chance at College, I'd suggest looking at Sports Science type courses; for a sport loving aspie, summat that involves sport, facts and figures seems heaven sent :-)

Anonymous said...

when i was looking for a job as a nurse once graduating from university, a nurse told me that no one could be a nurse with AS due to the social elements of nursing. what i learnt from this is Anyone can do anyjobs as long as it suits their needs and should not be held back from any condition or prejudice.


To the one who has a brother struggling through college and having a hard time maintaining and finding a job, my heart goes out to you, and your brother. Have you and/or your brother looked into Disability accomodations or any help he can get at his College? That could help with the educational aspect. Another thing that could help you out with the college is to see if you can somewhat observe a day in the classroom with your brother in it. You may not be able to do this in person, but maybe you can send a hidden video camcorder, or a hidden recorder and then listen to the observations when he gets home, maybe there could be bullying going on or triggers that could be setting him off during class, he could be in a Major that its not suited for him, academic struggles it could be a variety of things. I would also speak with your brother and husband about seeking Vocational Rehab services for your brother, they can help your brother find and maintain a job. They also can help assist him with typing up a job resume, cover letters, the whole ten yards, if he so needs it. But, don't do anything he's not comfortable with doing unless if it absolutely needs to be done. I hope my advice helps you. And to the one who suggested 2 jobs in regards to the Medical field, that does help and so does your positive,uplifting comment.To Nurse Joesphine, thank you for posting such a positive and uplifitng comment, you are so right. Remember you all, we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Lets keep proving society wrong!:)

Anonymous said...

Honestly all of you should think about this before starting families. You have a good chance of bringing another child into the world that will have to deal with these things and may never be able to work enough to support thereself comfortably or at all and not have to survive day to day on minimum wage. Min wage wouldn't even cover health insurance where I live. I just cringe when I hear someone with asperger's plan on starting a family just because they think that's what they are supposed to do to appear normal. Think about the other people instead of yourselves if you are able.

Lorraine said...

Well, Anonymous, there are God's plenty of "fully able" folk settling for low wage employment, so I blame the economy. If you want a competitive economic system, there will be losers. Eugenics will not change that. Or as Jesus prophesied: The poor you will always have with you. I don't accept that particular prophecy, but even in the War On Poverty (a legitimate target if there is one), there are weapons systems I won't deploy.

Anonymous said...

Mother of Adult Aspie with severe OCPD wonders if anyone who stuggles with this can share some hope. He is currently in a residential OCD treatment program but is not making much progress. It is his greatest challenge socially and in maintaining employement.

hurdahl said...

Programming - while that is not something for me (I've got AS too.. but I'm going to try for a librarian type job:D) - or similar types of jobs can be excelent for people with AS... as long as they are INTERESTED in it... actually - any job that demands throughout inspections, testing ++ could be perfect... In Scandinavia lots of businesses has found that people with AS can be far better than neurotypicals for some of the specialist jobs... and they've therefore become far more willing to 'adjust' the workplace for them. (as in giving them their own office/allowing them to eat on their own ++). Will say that if at all possible one should try to 'guide' the interest into something useful... So that if Computer is an interest... try to guide to programming ++ and how stuff works rather than just allowing the child to play games... Which is an interest that can't really be used for much in the long run.

This type of job is not for me though... Cause even if I don't always understand them ... or have the energy to do so - I'm a 'people person'... and people fascinate me... myself too even.

... Will say that is is never too late - as long as you don't give up. Be open and talk to people... try to think of ways your obsession might be useful... just... specialist not generalist. (most of the time). .. I think that social time can be less stressful if the topic is something one is interested in/spesifict rather than 'small talk' which is mostly quite useless... Even being a teacher - can under some circumstances - be something one can do. Being a judge with football/soccer though... might be better than being a player. ... except for the whole 'players getting angry' thing...

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest some trade jobs. It is what I am doing. Usually, it only requires two years of school, if at that. Some trades, you just dive head first into an apprenticeship. Repetitive, pays well, and allows an aspie to own his work using all his skills.

Marie said...

Re: "I just cringe when I hear someone with asperger's plan on starting a family", is about one of the most self-absorbed and unenlightened comments I've heard here. I can't imagine the world devoid of the DaVincis, Einsteins, Twains, Mozarts, not to mention George Washington, Isaac Newton, Henry Ford, Beethoven, Bobby Fischer, Kandinski, and Howard Hughes, just to name a few who are generally accepted as individuals who had Aspergers!! And the impressive list goes on. I hope we continue to be gifted with such people forever. Yes, their social skills may not be on par with the mainstream, but has anyone considered the greater difficulty has been the change in society's speed and expectations? All those people lived in a time where we were not all bombarded by visual and aural stimuli 24/7. People had a chance to ruminate, mentally explore, study independently at length without always "being on the clock". I would love to see all you people who have contributed above, be given the gift of being taken out of the barrage of societal drivel and demands as we see and hear daily on TV, radio — and yes on the web —and watch as you all unfold and take wing! What a blessing for us all that would be.

Anonymous said...

Ok, So my wife and I have just been informed (3 months ago) that our oldest has Aspergers. Upsetting, yes, but what was even more disturbing is that my wife is a TA for Autistic children which range from very low to high function. She was very upset that she hadn't realized it sooner. He is a great kid, very smart but low self esteem and a bit of a loner. He works part time at a sandwich shop and seems to be doing well handling customers but I sense his frustrations when the shop has been busy. I have been reading the post of others who have children with Aspergers and I am ashamed at how wrong I have been over the years and even more so lately now that I know he has AS. Our relationship is not great and I want terribly to improve it so I hope by coming back and reading more posts I will learn how he thinks and how best to handle different situations. There are a few books/e-books posted here as well, does anyone have any suggestions. I can not tolerate the disrespect toward his mother (or me) so we need to learn how to manage that. I am an active duty Navy Sailor that has spent a tremendous amount of time away from my family and just reported to shore duty (just about the same time he was diagnosed) which allows me to be home every night and weekend so I am sure that change has really thrown him off kilter as well. I appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.

meistersinger said...

Amen to that. Had I known almost 40 years ago I had Asperger's, I wouln't have bothered with college.

Anonymous said...

Navy Dad, your desire to form a closer relationship with your son is admirable. You don't say how old your son is, but since he's working part-time in a sandwich shop, I guessing he's at least an older teenager or young adult.

You note that you have difficulty tolerating his disrespect toward your wife or you. Sometimes aspies are rude just as sometimes "normal" people are rude. However, more often it's the case that aspies say things that come across as disrespectful, but they don't mean to be.

My 15-year-old son has AS. He is a really nice kid, and I feel very fortunate that I don't have to deal with some of the problems the parents of "normal" teenagers might face such as drug and alcohol abuse, or irresponsible sexual behavior.

I suppose the biggest challenges I face involve helping my son understand the nuances of social interactions. It's difficult to explain why it may be okay to speak one way with his friends at school, but the same language and topics are inappropriate around me, his dad, or other adults. Why is something funny or appropriate in one context but not in another? So often what is seen as disrespectful behavior is often a lack of understanding of social expectations. We spend a lot of time talking to our son about expected and unexpected behavior. He gets very frustrated because the social rules don't make since to him; they aren't consistent.

Social rules often seem arbitrary to my son. That often leads to feelings of frustration and anger. It's hard to usually be the one who doesn't fit with the group, who doesn't get the subtle messages that your behavior does not conform. It does not help him if I get angry when he says something disrespectful. Of course sometimes I do, but I learned that letting anger lead my response to his behavior only makes the situation worse. It's much more effective to ask him why he said what he said, and then help him to understand how I experienced it. Then we work together to come up with a better way for him to express himself. He's come a long way over the years in understanding social rules. Does he have lots more to learn? Yes. We will keep working on it. It was a major realization on our part that much of the behavior we were interpreting as stubborn refusal was really a complete lack of understanding of what was expected behavior.

I guess what I'm saying is that to form a closer relationship with your son, you need to learn how to understand the world through your son's eyes.

You asked for some suggested reading material. I found the books to be helpful in understanding AS:
The Complete Guide to Asperger;s Syndrome by Tony Attwood; and Freaks, Geeks, and Aspergers Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson

Anonymous said...

I'm a 21 year old girl with Aspergers and i'm really confused about what to do about my life. I'm currently studying law because my grades were good in high school and the pay is good etc. but i didn't know i had Aspergers.. Now i feel like i'm just wasting my time..

Anonymous said...

I'm a 21 year old girl with Aspergers and i have really no idea what i'm going to do with my life:/ I'm currently studying law because my grades were good in high school and the pay is good etc. but i didn't know i had Aspergers.. Also in my country Aspergers is not well known and there aren't even any social services or such so.. I don't even know..

Anonymous said...

How do you get your Son who was diagnoised with aspergers syndrome to actually come out of himself, and to have fait in his ability to do things? My son is so intelligent. However, he says he doesn't have aspergers syndrome, he has people faiulre syndrome. He is seeing a psychologist. THsi doesn't seem to be working out too well. I'm at wits end.


I am 43 and I only recently discovered I have Aspergers. I served in the United States Navy and then had two sons: one with Down Syndrome and Autism and another with Aspergers. I began to work with adults with disabilities in various capacities. I am now employed part time as a receptionist in a counseling practice and I am also working independently providing advocacy, coaching for the parents, and mentoring for others on the spectrum. The disability work world needs skilled individuals preferably with a great understanding of what it is like to be different, how to best use your skills to achieve goals, and most importantly who understand how to be both well and on the spectrum. If you fit the bill, please look for opportunities in your community.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up!

Unknown said...

I am 56 years old and have recently been Dx'd ADHD, Aspergers, and Bipolar II. I have had 44 jobs and never knew why things were so hard at work. Bosses said I was a poor fit or had poor job performance, or other things that hurt my self-confidence. I have been fired or asked to leave a dozen or so times. I have a hard time with people criticizing me, and that's what supervizors seem to do, so now

I also don't have very good executive functioning, I think, because I have never been able to set goals, except with yard work. I am very bright and have a master's degree. Because of the disorder and maybe lack of life goal setting, I got an M.Ed. in Human Relations. It is not useful to me becauae it involved no coursework in Education, and I have trouble reading and being with people...Yikes

So, from these 44 mostly unrelated jobs, I can share that I did best as a proofreader, an assistant manager of a water store, and house sitter. The worst ones were Social Services and Mental Health agency jobs, because intereactions are non-stop, and the paperwork actually precipitated embarassing meltdowns. I still have nighmares about the waitressing and receptionint/cashier jobs. I cannot multi-task or do "fast-paced environment" jobs. No professional has ever recommended that I apply for Disability because I present well, I guess.

Interest Inventories showed I may have made a good Forester, Horse Breeder, Musician Rancher, Software Designer, or Psychiatrist. Yet Math trouble kept me away from Science and Technology.

So now I am a fit, versatile, playful 56-year-old woman who has NO income, and who has NO idea what to apply for. I do fill out random applications, and each one brings on an anxiety problem that includes huge grief, and trouble breathing.

So, YEAH, early intervention would have been really great!

Encouraging and humourous comments, and good ideas, would be welcome!

Lorraine said...

I feel your pain.

magnetite said...

I'm currently volunteering with my mom doing some office type jobs for her employer. I really like the job. Unfortunately, they were not hiring jobs for the duties I was doing (photocopying, scanning, and some computer work).

When it actually comes to finding a job though, as with a lot of people with Aspergers and socializing, the whole networking with people just sort of keeps me away from looking. You can look on job sites, but there's literally hundreds of people applying for the same position as you.

If I was to get an interview, I've heard some people don't get the job because they have a disability, in this case Aspergers. They believe that someone like me would be too much to handle.

When I was working with my mom, they basically told me what they needed me to do, and I pretty much did it for the entire time I was there.

They said I'm very efficient and that I did the same amount of work that could have taken someone months to do, I did in about 3 weeks. With it being volunteer, I only worked once a week.

See, I've got the skills and such. I just need the connections to help me get a job. However, like I said, for most people with Aspergers, trying to get a job or network with people, which is how most people find jobs, is like carrying a huge 100 lb weight on your back.

Worriedparent said...

My 15 yo son has high functioning aspergers, has friends ,is affectionate etc, he is doing ok in school by focusing on his homework and as someone said we have no worries re drugs/alcohol etc! He wants to join the air force as a defense guard (I'm in Australia) , anyone here had experience in the armed forces with aspergers?.

Blogger profile said...

Yes, I made the mistake of majoring in English in college. Ten years later, I am a housekeeper at a large hospital. I am very good at my job but find it dissatisfying. My degree has helped me not one iota in finding employment. Without the social skills to pursue anything related to my interests, manual labor is the life for me. P.S. I have learned to multi-task at my job by thinking circularly as well as linearaly. I believe this is related to practicing Tai Chi and Zen Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

I was an H.R. Manager at my las job... and ended up quitting because I was not interested and I spent my time reading about things that did interest me... so now I am going back to school to be an engineer... because that is what I found to be interesting... I have found it hard for a job to really keep my intention, espeically an office job...

Desertdarlene said...

I work in a library and do reference work. The majority of my job involves a LOT of complex social interaction with a diverse group of people. I had to learn what is the correct thing to say and how to interact. It's easy to be taken the wrong way if you don't have the right facial expression or body posture for the situation as well. You have to also deal with complaints and sometimes manage co-workers.

I don't know if being a reference librarian is a good choice for people who find social interaction difficult. Some libraries also get very busy and several people can also demand your attention at the same time.

Shelving books is a good idea as is a job behind the scenes like cataloging and, perhaps, administration. But, the latter jobs are very competitive.

Unknown said...

To Unknown with ADHD, Aspergers and Bipolar11.

I am now 60, I have ADD, and am medicated for depression and social anxiety, (which I personally think is aspergers related). I was also on Ritalin which helped DRAMATICALLY, but after damage to my nervous system I can on longer take it. I live alone, and have never been in a successful romantic relationship inspite of a great desire to be in one.

I also have a great deal of trouble setting goals , or of even thinking of the future. I am stuck in the eternal now, without any means, or knowledge of how to support myself. I think I understand at least something of where you are coming from.

I during my working career I was always the oddball who did not understand the office politics and how to make friends, which left me an easy target for others to tease or mistreat. I am very intelligent , talented, a quick study and a diligent worker.

Because of this I was pushed by therapists to strive for management jobs in fast paced environments Museum Exhibits Installations, where I failed utterly at the assistant manager level, and was traumatized in the process. Because of the tricky issue of social politics and how cut throat they can be in a specialized field. The politics of dating and relationships further damaged my self esteem.

For the past ten years ( following a spinal laminectomy, which left me with nerve damage), I have not worked. I tried to retrain as a landscape designer. This bombed because one to one client interactions terrify me. Even working with a Job Counselor for people with disabilities (including those with aspergers) did nothing but make me feel worse about myself because she could not see my limitations because of my talents, and appearance of "normalcy".

Early detection. At least this is now possible. At least now some counselors are aware and able to admit that being "close to neurotypical" doesn't always mean the individual will have no problems interacting in todays world. As the saying goes "close, but no cigar", it is the differences, even the seemingly small ones that can ultimately trip you up, and leave you without support. Financially and emotionally.

Desperate mum said...

I like what you said....i have a son who is probably an asperger too and is yet to be diagnosed soon.i am worried that he might not live a quality life when i am gone and he is already 14...what you said helps a lot...Marie.

Stressarella said...

My son is 25 and was diagnosed with Aspergers about his 2nd year of college. It took him 5 years (which isn't unusual these days)to graduate with a double major in history and English (which I see is not a good fit for someone with Aspergers). Most of his time in college he spent in his dorm when he wasn't in class or in getting food in the dining hall and gained about 70 pounds during that time. While he was in college we found out that his school offered about 10 free sessions through the disability office with a counselor, he only went to three. He graduated 15 months ago and is still working 2 part time jobs- one in a retail store unloading trucks and stocking shelves and another one delivering pizzas. I don't know what to do for him and so very scared for his future. I have given him names of sights to go to for people with Aspergers, suggested and offered a name of a therapist to go to for help-especially since I think he has anxiety and maybe depression and suggested joining to a support/social group for young adults with Aspergers and he didn't want to go. It's as if he doesn't want to admit he has Aspergers. Unfortunately, while he was still in college my husband was transferred to another state with his job, so another hurdle. We now live in a state where he doesn't know anyone, not that he socialized or had many friends where we used to live, but at least it was familiar. He spends most of his time in his bedroom. We have pointed out to him Apergers groups that meet and suggested getting into something that interests him and joining a group that does that, like Archery since he liked it in high school and seemed good at it. He hasn't done any of it. He has had 3 job interviews over the phone and one in person and no job offer. I help him by looking for jobs and printing them out for him to review and apply and my husband and I have both referred him for jobs with our employers. He definitely has the social issue, he isn't afraid to socialize he just doesn't like to do it for very long or often, he has to back out of the situation by going to the bathroom to gather himself and get relief he as done this for years, since he was little- we didn't know what it was at the time. What else can we do, how do I reach him? I so worry that when my husband and I are gone he is going to be living in the streets. Also, worry about people taking advantage of him- he really is a wonderful, kind young man and honest young man - prey for assholes. I know during the process of getting diagnosed with Aspergers he expressed interest of meeting a nice girl and getting married, I fear he may never have this. I say a lot of prayers for him these days. Any advise or help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Megan said...

I'm 23, and I have AS. I tried looking for work and had a factory job at a place for disabled people, but they had to let me go because they ran out of funding. Then, I had a hotel job (housecleaner), but they fired me after the first day. :'( Then, I got on SSI. I don't have much stress, which is good, but I feel like I'm suppose to be working or going to college. The key words are "I feel like I'm suppose to". I failed at the jobs that normal people have.

Anonymous said...

I'm 21 and have an assosiate's degree in business administration and I have both aspergers and adhd. I don't know what I'm going to do. I studied business so that I could take care of myself financially and be able to afford anything that I could possibly need, but I didn't think it through. I wish I could start over and I'm about to study to get my bachelor's but I don't know what I should study anymore. I'm in deep trouble here. Somebody help me please.

Loneheart said...

Stressarella, your post almost made me cry because your son sounds just like me, especially the part about going to the bathroom to regroup after being around people for a while. I'm 29, I never even heard of this condition until 2 years ago, which sucks, I wish that I would have known about this when I was a child.

I started my own business when I was 22 with a business partner who was a "social butterfly" so we had the perfect partnership, he would do all the social stuff while I did everything else such as the paperwork, advertising, managing the books, etc. We became pretty successful at it too and enjoyed a great life. However, he became sick and died about a year and a half ago. Since then I lost my business and everything else since I could not fill the void left by his death. Now I am almost 30 back living with my parents with no idea of what to do next. I have a business degree which is pretty worthless for me at the moment, and I have no idea of what career I should even look into. Knowing about this ASD now, I wish that I would have stuck with my original goal of being an engineer instead of going into the business world where who you know is much more valuable than what you know.

Jane Austen said...

DO NOT become a reference librarian! They deal with the public constantly, often have to deal with long lines of angry people during busy times, and as one poster pointed out, there is a lot of nasty politics in libraries. Librarians often have to deal with angry complainers and unbalanced patrons. It can be quite stressful!

Unknown said...

Anonymous you have to be the most arrogant person I've seen online in a while. I'm an adult Aspie who was just diagnosed and I have three children whom I wouldn't change for the world... All three of them have some form of Autism. There are many people who are unemployed with the current economic crisis, people with disabilities moreso than the milieu. This fact doesn't mean that there aren't highly successful individuals and with the rate at which Asperger's and Autism is progressing, it's just a matter of time before society needs to make a majority of the concessions in terms of employment. Asperger's and Autism is a different way of looking at and processing the world and honestly, it's about time the world gains a new perspective. Employ-ability isn't what makes a human being valuable and everyone ; NT, those on the spectrum, and people with more debilitating issues, has their good and bad qualities that they have to learn to adapt to. I tell my children that life is going to be difficult for them and that their peers won't understand them, but that their family is always behind them and they will find a place to fit in. I don't sugarcoat their limitations and I don't negate any possibilities for them, because with early intervention and a solid support system, people on the spectrum can accomplish extraordinary feats. Your comments are ignorant and quite honestly I don't think you should procreate knowing the bias and ignorance you'll be passing onto your offspring.

Unknown said...

Hi. My son has aspergers. I would like to hear from you. I am praying for you. Please do not lose hope. I know it has been 3.5 yrs
since you wrote this response but I hope you
are truly OK. Jesus loves you and so do I.

PinkHibiscusFlowers said...

I have a had a job in various parts of the education field for 10 years, starting at 16 ( I'm 27 now) and have Aspergers. I find education to be a great field, especially working with younger kids. I have been successful in this field. The younger kids don't notice anything different with me and my only problem has been that the parents sometimes think me too blunt, as do co-workers but for the most part it seems to be acceptable. I occasionally have problems with filtering and volume control but I enjoy the job greatly. All my interests such as crochet, environmentalism, history and science is useful as children has a million questions.

DSwaitkewich said...

I was diagnosed at 58 with Nonverbal Learning Disorder which sounds a lot like what is described here. I am looking for office work and most office jobs require a lot of multitasking. You have to provide reception, type documents, etc. all at the same time. Jobs where you only have to do one thing, such as a filing clerk, do not exit any more. It's the same in all fields of work. You have to be able to do many things at the same time. I have not seen a job opening that does not require multitasking.

Anonymous said...

I am currently working as a flight attendant and find it a terrible job for me, although I've done it for a long time. I frequently get into trouble with rubbing coworkers up the wrong way or coming across as rude when I don't mean to be. It's also not mentally stimulating enough and I am clumsy beyond belief. I also come off 'wrong' in a lot of situations and the social isolation in this work is incredible. Being around a lot of people who all reject you is very hard to deal with.

I was better at IT and reading this article is great as I went down and checked off all the jobs I've tried and sucked at and all the jobs I've done and been good at. It's bang on the money. My band of narrow interests has always revolved around odd handicrafts and that is a career that I am setting myself back up in now. Can't wait to finish up in my current job and go back to what I love.

One career that wasn't mentioned here which I have done is postal work. It's basically a large amount of sorting, packing and then walking a route. I found it boring after a time but it would suit people who can remember their beat, every house number, names and addresses that kind of thing. After a while you can correctly readdress any misaddressed item and it's solo work allowing you to do the work to your own routine and requirements. I am great with deadline and efficiencies just not information overload in short spaces of time.

Beautifullight777 said...

hi! I have been officially diagnosed as an Aspie. I sometimes say artistic. Before my diagnosis I dragged myself all the way through grad school and life through even more pain and health issues. Then I had to drag myself day by day through every career I tried. Govt worker, kindergarten teacher, front line social worker protecting kids from abuse et al. I did not make friends until I found accepting open special interest groups that matched my special interests....this started around age 31. I am now working through the govt program vocational rehabilitation. I am different then what writers normally talk about aspies. My verbal scores are off the charts my other skills are very low. I cannot drive. I find myself attracted to art. I have to master the mechanics though and writing. It amazes people that I can draft grant proposals. It's simple to me. Hard for others. I feel that in addition to a list of fields. We also need to look at the culture of each work place and each boss. I had a fantastic job as a temp secretary for years. I don't have usual social skills. I built my own set of social skills. I gave my co workers candy and a smile and my patience and kindness. They accepted me for who I was. I recommend building self awareness knowledge and hunt for your little niche

Unknown said...

I'm so pleased i have found this site, my Son is 25yrs old and I definitely feel he has Asperger's. He is also Dyslexic. After several low paid, under achieving jobs we soon realised that he is capable of so much more. He missed out on his education because he was so misunderstood. So this means he can only ever apply for the above job roles leaving him feeling so low and despondent.
He too loves books, art and design but here in the Uk it is so hard to find a way forwards either in education or suitable employment. I just wished the government would tap into these amazing intelligent people and give them the support and encouragement to live more for filled lives.

Miguel Palacio said...

I think what you said is key: "I fail at the jobs that normal people have". Maybe it's time to avoid "normal" jobs. Go for jobs that are in tune with your special interests and personality. I've had good and bad experiences, but my best experiences have been working for bosses who hire me for what I am good for. We all have things that we're good at.

Miguel Palacio said...

Try not to worry too much. My Associates Degree has nothing to do with my Bachelors Degree. But many of the core subject you take for one are common for the other, such as English 101. Many of the 101 courses. So not all is lost. Plus, if you change careers and get your next degree in something else, that shows diversity.

Miguel Palacio said...

This list of jobs is great but I would still caution that autism
Is a spectrum and these job tiles are not set in stone. More than anything they are a guideline with many opportunities for exceptions.

Also, one will never become good at something unless one challenges oneself and makes it o e's special interest to overcome some of the hurdles and valleys.

I guess you can call me an unlikely one with an electrical technician certificate, an Associates in Arts with a concentration in Foreign Lamguages, a Bachelors of Science in Applied Science and Technogy in Electronics Engineering Technology with a specialization in Space Communications and a Mini-MBA. Each had its challenges, and I went at my own pace, which was at about half-time. But I didn't give up. The longest I have worked for a company has been 15 years. Where I have been most successful has been in jobs in tune with my special interests: Space Technoligy and Electrinic Communications and Foreign Languages.

But we are all distinct and unique. The best way it to marry as many of one's strengths as possible into one job and not just go for regular run of the mill jobs.

Best wishes!

Miguel Palacio said...

It seems I'm an exception to one of these rules. I'm a pretty good simultaneous language interpreter. I think partly I have my tendency for echolalia and echopraxia to thank. Before it is that I execute the mimicry I do a quick translation. Kind of like a stack interceptor.

My dad worked for the post office and at first was slow at sorting mail but as he practiced he became better than most. Almost savant-like.

What I'm saying is that it may not only be possible to overcome some shortcomings, but also get to excel and be better than most at things that by nature seemed difficult. One thing that we have in our favour is that we can be perseverational and if one of these disabilities gets in the way, it may be possible to make it a special interest to overcome it, even if it may take some time. But in many of my cases, with a bit of patience, it has been very well worth it.

Janie said...

Thank you for this article. My son is 32 and is living with me. He had H
Flu Meningitis at 2 weeks old and almost died, and severe seizures. at Four
moths old he had massive seizures and was out on Phenobarbital until he was
4 year sold. He reads..is great at video games, has limited contact with
friends because he just can't get the social thing. He has apprenticed with
electricians, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, apartment building
maintenance supervisors, ..all friends..and all love him..and all say they
can't work with him..this is FRIENDS.. he has not been diagnosed and I have
no idea how to get help for him..he has no income and at this point I am on
social security and finding it very hard to support us both..

Miguel Palacio said...

Janie, Have you tried the Goodwill Job Club? It's like a free employment agency that will take a special interest in finding proper placement. Explain to them your circumstance. They help people at all levels. I e had good results with them. I've seen others have good results too. Good luck! :-)

Unknown said...

Addendum: Only acceptable one that pops out to me is documentary-based videography or acting. (Not a word. You get enough enthusiasm and then you just need the acting part.) Also, jewelry making, but I'm not going to college for something I don't technically need a degree in :)

Preta said...

Dear Mr. Keith Miller, you are more "blessed" than even you might realize, and as for the 'sob stories' I can empathize with what has been said here (except for the gentleman who feels it's all over for him, NOTHING could be further from the truth sir, as the saying goes "where there's life there's ALWAYS hope), because my 21 year old nephew is experiencing almost the exact same thing right now.
My heart aches for this loving and caring young man, who's lost two very special women in his life (his Mom, my sister, and his grandmother, my Mom), but still pushes on no matter what. He goes on job interviews on his own, and lets NOTHING and no one stop him but sadly the results haven't been so great. To top it off he has a college degree, which doesn't seem to help, and has only had a job (internship) working at the college library but has NOT been able to carry it forward to get work in an outside library.
'Supposedly' he was hired by a supermarket chain, but we just found out it's on a "on call basis" (he was told in the beginning they'd "immediately" start him on a three week training program, but they called back to say it was changed to "on call" instead).
Lastly, ACCESS VR stepped forward to day they will help him, by giving him job training which Will lead to employment, asap (one can only hope and pray this is true). In the mean while, he's still looking for work, until ACCESS VR calls him back to let him know when they're ready for him to come in, or he finally gets hired. There's got to be a better way for ALL involved here, I think it's awful and a blight on this nation.

Unknown said...

well, my co-worker has aspergers and drives everyone crazy with her constant interrupting... one person had to yell at her to shut up.

Adam Goldberg said...

School and work were both struggles for me and now we know that AS is why they were. Finally, diagnosed more or less a year ago, I am now of the persuasion that whatever job is the best fit for me may not necessarily be a conventional one. Does anyone think that there is an unfilled niche on this earth for someone gifted like me? Do I have to “create” my own job somehow?

Unknown said...

Good resource

Sister said...

I work as a CNA but I think I will be fired soon. I do just exactly what they tell me to do and I fulfill all my duties as they are written. Then someone comes along and tells me to do it another way. One of my coworkers cannot make it through the day without telling me how dumb I am being or something that I am doing "wrong" (even though I do what I'm supposed to do). It's weird, because all the patients like me, but my coworker hates my guts and seems to get pleasure out of calling me incompetent.

I guess nursing just isn't for us.

Unknown said...

I'm just a 13 year old boy with aspergers, and I feel this looks like great jobs!

About me:
- I think much
- I am much more adult, and mature for my age, than everyone around me.
- I love:
* Mat
* Physics
* Astronomy
* Technology in practice
* Inventions
* History
| I am better than the teacher is many of thoose subjects, but have problems with other subject's like: Spanish, region, lenguage and sosial.

- I like to hang out with more nerdish people, and have easyer to talk to other with autism or ADHD. (Then I'm training alot, so I am something like a training nerd)
- I get better contact with animals than humans
- I love to give
- I have an 100% order character
- I cames pretty good equivalent with the teachers
- I dreaming to became:
1. Astronaut
2. Inventor
3. Mathematician / Physicist
4. Astronomer
5. Donald Duck Drawer

Abit about my self. What do you think I should be?=)

Miguel Palacio said...

Laser! I got a job in space technology. And I love it! Well, first I got an electronics technician certificate. And the I became a satellite ground station operator and then satellite operations and maintenance specialist and then a satellite station operations and maintenance technician and then a satellite station operations and maintenance supervisor. And then I got my electronics engineering technology degree and became a satellite / space communications engineer. Today I am a director and I hang out with all sorts of cool nerdy people! And those that are not nerdy I do my best to convert them to become nerdy. People in the satellite and space field are nerdy and proud to be nerdy. For me, it is the best place to be if space technology is your special interest. All that is important is that there be kindness in people's hearts. Rather than aim for something in the military side, you might consider an enterprise with a motto such as "so that earth may benefit from space". Look up that motto. You will find many kind-hearted people there who share many of your special interests with a passion. Once you have completed your education, don't be surprised if you hear these words: "You're hired!"

Yes, I am autistic. So is Bill Gates. So was Isaac Newton, so is Temple Grandin, so was Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and many others.

I could do it. They did it. You can do it!

Best wishes!

sana said...

I am a female aspie in my 30s, looking for a job just like most of you... I am now thinking about a job in care, maybe with older people (I get along with them much better than with my peers) or with asperger adults. Do you think this could work out?

JJR said...

With Library Science, I would add the caveat that for an Aspie female it is probably fine, but for an Aspie man, let me just say that libraries are internally very political and dominated by NT women. I entered librarianship after my plans to enter academia as a German Studies professor faltered. I entered as a yet undiagnosed Aspie man in my 30s and it has been a very tough row to hoe. I interview well, I even have a good first evaluation, but by the time my 2nd evaluation rolls around, I've somehow managed to piss off my boss and have been either let go outright or been bullied into resigning. I'm currently under-employed as a library CLERK (i.e. paraprofessional job that doesn't require my ALA-accredited MLS) in a public library system. I'm still gainfully employed because I 1) got diagnosed (finally) and thus 2) When I finally reluctantly disclosed my DX, my local county HR dept. put a leash on my tyrannical supervisor because they didn't want an ADA lawsuit. My supervisor eventually crossed swords with the library director and got canned. I have a much more benevolent supervisor now. But I keep getting passed over for promotion to Librarian I when I apply, losing out to younger, less experienced people but who are well known to the branch manager hiring them, while I am an unknown from the main branch, which is enough of a disadvantage to overcome my superior education (2 Masters degrees), superior intellect, and greater job experience (I have worked as an actual librarian before, with 2.5 years of actual on the job experience as an Academic Librarian). In a public library setting, intellect takes a back seat to being personable and relateble to patrons, and in that race I'm at a disadvantage, or at least that is the perception of those with authority to hire.

My best job was working for a large international insurance company as a logistics specialist putting together the assets needed for emergency medical evacuations at the direction of the AIG Medical Staff. My foreign language skills were highly appreciated, as was my general world-knowledge of foreign countries. The job was challenging and stressful but very rewarding, and I was recognized by our clients for my good customer service skills. We received letters praising my casework and handling of their problems. My customers often grew very attached to me and sometimes felt a little despondent when I was off duty or on vacation. I was very meticulous and my casework was always solid. People felt "safe" taking over cases from me, because there were hardly ever any nasty surprises from something critical that was late or left undone or unconfirmed. The only reason I left the job is because my mother felt it was "beneath" someone of my high intelligence with advanced degrees, that I wasn't being paid what I was "worth". My mother is a retired librarian, so part of me figured that if I became a librarian she'd finally have to shut up with her disapproval of my career choices. Alas, it hasn't worked out so great. While it's true my first 2 gigs in libraryland paid significantly better than my insurance company employer, the problem was I couldn't stay employed for very long. In my current public library gig, I make more than when I started at the insurance company, but less than my best and final year. It's frustrating and disheartening at times.

Unknown said...

DAS Hello I find your comments very informative. I too have aspergers iam 48yrs old and happily married however i still struggle with making eye-contact with people and interruppt them instead of listening. My brain is always 5 steps ahead of my mouth and body and everyone else. Also many people get burned out talking to me because of the knowledge i have. I have a photographic memory, but only with things iam intersted in. I often jump back and forth between subjects in a conversation which confuses others because they can"t proccess like i can. I even went over my MRI's of my brain with my neurologist! After several minutes of dicussion he asked whre i went to medical school! I simply said it was something i read once in a medical book! As regards the jobless market i can relate. 5 years ago I lost a good job! It was the 1st time I filed for unemployment in 23yrs. Do to the seasonal area i live in I work 1 full time job and 2 part-time jobs. I have been a blue collar worker all my life. So remember, things always have to be replaced or repaired which equals jobs. Air Conditioning/Heating,electronics repair and refrigeration are always in demand. So look for online classes and trade school programs particulary with refrigeration in mind this is one of the most hardest positions to get filled. Also taking the course to be medical billing coder is a great move and you can do it from home. My friends mother did the class in less than a year an her starting income from home was $48,000.I hope this message helps someone. Also their are some schools and colleges available for those wih syndromes. My friends son has Williamson sysndrome which is on the autistic scale. He sent him to a special school just for this and he is doing well now. Best regards to all.

Life is but a dream said...

So I completed all requirements to obtain my degree but was denied my diploma, my grades or name were not published and they said they could not let me graduate. They think
I'm wierd, different, so I must have a problem. They deny I have Asperger's or HFA but have bullied me until I learnt to deal with it. Still, the faculty members can randomly manage to brainwash four girls to bully me after meeting with them behind my back and giving and using my "wierdness" as proof I'm some sort of evil person. They treated me really badly and I really thought I had left those days I was harshly bullied behind me. So I did it. I finished my degree, was told my small thesis was effing awesome, top notch, but then they changed their mind and decided a wierd person shouldn't graduate. I hate having to take them to court as I'm being told to do by a highly respected psychoanalist, who has been inisting I put a lawyer to defend me and despite they have told me the opposite, that it is not crazy at all given the circumstances. It's not easy at all to complete a degree with no support at all Aspergers and no recognition of it's existence in people with a high IQ. I'm heartbroken. I appealed within the universities organisms, the pones I was assured where correct to present my claim to. It was such a struggle -not the subjects or the job I was training for- but the people and only God knows how much I had to think about how to go about relating with people to survive. Sometimes sharing helps. It was such a milestone for me, the beggining of a new phase. Why don't I deserve to graduate like everybody else who completed all requirements???? I want to be a contributing memeber of sociaety and I already am. I have my opwn business, yet yes I0m wierd and different. Different does not equal bad, but when they figure that out it may be too late for me, and I need help now.

Anonymous said...

I have aspergers myself, on top of that a mild intellectual impairment and oral dysphyxiation. Been working as sports turf manager (Greenkeepers) for 12 years, raised up around a workaholic of a pop with thanks to DOCS. Guess what I inherited that workaholism and hard work ethics. On a low income $43000 per year.

Now the part that people get annoyed about is my pops mindset that a career comes first. Stressful? Yes. My nan no longer asks about how my career is going. She would rather ask bunnings what turf weed this is which they don't know anywhere near as much as a greenkeeper trainee or a horticulturalist.

Because of that I maybe successful career man but every other aspect in life is a failure I will never be in a relationship because I hate taking time off work to have a life. I hate even getting sick and sitting out the day. Collapsed once with the flu at work and was not fit to go home so I slept at work.

The issue there is my only intelligent conversation is about business which most people find boring and non intelligent. Like talking about wow cool that dirt bike is banging on about rubbish is intelligent.

Worst mistake I have ever made was try to get somewhere in life instead of settling for less. Basically working that industry has made my aspergers worse off. Why?

Melswalkingwonderland said...

I'm also 30yrs and just diagnosed aspie and experiencing the same - and also lacking hope but from one as pie to another we can do it! I'd strongly encourage you to find someone who can support you in ur mission to get work experience in a library type job volunteering to gain experience and hopefully this will open doors for you. There is always hope stick on in there I believe in you xxx

Unknown said...

I would not recommend Architecture - it is a profession that, more than most professions, rewards sociopaths and narcissists. Anyone who is socially awkward will be pushed to a dark corner and exploited by those who shine socially.

I do think just drafting in a more practical, production-oriented environment where ego is less of a factor would be a good fit. Surveys, site maps, 3-d parts, CNC cad drawings for cabinets, etc. all are more task-oriented and have less opportunities for social disaster.

So - drafting for geo/civil, manufacturing, or engineering - YES.

Design professions like Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Design, Industrial Design, etc.- NO.

Design is a really tough, tough path to take for the neurotypical, let alone an Aspie. Maybe if you are a genius and your own boss, but otherwise it's heartbreaking.

Unknown said...


vivetkah said...

Don't ever quit on finding what you can contribute to society, that will also make you happy. I went back to school with two kids and a full time job and every day I would say out loud" this is only temporary, hang in there"

Unknown said...

I'm an 18 year old girl with Aspergers and I'm in college studying video game programming. Let me tell you, it isn't easy being autistic in a non autistic world. I've been ridiculed for how I talk and for the awkwardness I have when I try to socialize. But from what I've realized while programming is that because I'm a very visual learner, it comes almost naturally to me. Guess that's my trade off- horrible communication skills, but pretty awesome when it comes to programming. I really hope that I won't be part of the 80% that can't find a full time job, though, because game programming is a passion that I would love to have as a career. Just 20% of us have fully time jobs? That's a very depressing statistic that I hope changes soon.

Anonymous said...

how to Get a job as an Aspie:
- Niche. niche. NICHE! Focus and get better than anyone else in your field on that narrow topic. Out study, out think, out perform.
- Get a job. Keep a job. Anything. Janitor. I was the most amazing dishpit monkey the cafeteria ever had. Aspies do not do well without a box to work in. Being unemployed is a death sentence. Everything is harder when you don't have a full time job. Whether getting money to go to school, or launching a business. Retail sales is actually pretty good as well. At first, I was a mess, but once you create a system of what to say and when, and follow the script, you can do really well.
- Find that one close friend. I am lucky that i Have my wife to help me understand this world that doesn't make any rational sense. But before her, I had a really close friend that we could just talk openly about creating a process for how to interact with people.
- Don't do anything alone. If you go into business/entrepreneur, do it with a partner that compliments your strengths. When you are in an office, have your boss/manager on your side making sure he understands how to deal with your negatives, and how to make use of your strengths.

I taught myself how to be a photographer, Videographer and a website/graphic designer. Just keep working! I worked for a local newspaper my parents owned, and did a whole pile of free work as well as paid work doing their website, taking photos, and making a video series for their social media accounts, until I was good enough to go into freelance business.

Prioritize your effort! Start your morning by writing down everything you want to do in a day, prioritize it in order, and then write down how long it will take to do each task...

Every day I do this, I am a one man productive army. Every day I do not do this, my mind finds something stupid like spending 20 minutes to write on this comment thread, or watching youtube for 2 hours straight on the migration patterns of Canadian Geese.

HOpe this helps!

thehatguy said...

I have asperger's, diagnosed as an adult at 23, most definitely not a "mild" case. You list here carreers that an aspie can't do. I think that's wrong. I know in my heart, in my mind, and deep down within my soul that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. Anything. I could build the first flying car, write the next great bestseller, day trade an account fro 2000$ into a million, be a motivational speaker that would make anthony robbins jealous. Just about the only thing I can't do is become the president of the united states, and that's simply because I have no desire to deal with all the idiots in DC. I believe that anyone is capable of anything. Don't believe me? What about the champion wrestler who had no legs below the knees? What about the man with no arms who plays guitar with his feet? What about all the millions of people who do what others consider impossible every day? Honestly, shouldn't you be empowering people with asperger's instead of saying what they can and can't do? Me, I am going to be a prolific inventor, and accomplished author, and a successful day trader. Doubt me? Go ahead. I have no doubts, only patience and tenacity. I will accomplish my goals or die trying, and the world will be a better place for it, whether or not you think I can do it. In the end, all the support I need is my own belief in myself. Sadly, many people with asperger's never develop that sort of confidence, because they are stuck in this world where people are always tearing them down and even worse, telling them they can't do certain things because of their limitations. Guess what? As a creator, each human is capable of achieving any goal. The fact is, most people give up after only a few failures. Micheal Jordan, he failed at basketball. He kept trying. Einstien? He failed at inventing the lightbulb over a thousand times. People like you would have said, I give up, it can't be done. Well, Einstien didn't believe that. He kept trying, and now lives on as one of the most brilliant men in history, though I doubt he was much more than two standard deviations from normal in IQ (130). So, next time you want to tell someone they can't do something. You should keep in mind that you might be telling Einstein that he can't invent a lightbulb, he was, after all, just a patent clerk. I really like the premise of this article, showing what fields a person with asperger's might excell in, but the fields in which we might struggle in, they are far from impossible. Neigh, I'd say the rewards are even greater when accomplishing impossible things. I hope you consider revising this article.

Adam Goldberg said...


I agree with you 100% Except you're referring to Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb. However, Einstein was the patent clerk.

Have a great day!

Unknown said...

Would a mail carrier job be good for someone with Asperger's?

Unknown said...

Just lost a hellish job that required intense multitasking, heavy social interaction and high workload. People thought I was not approachable and even unwilling to help them despite a massive effort on my behalf and a sincere desire to help. Then the badmouthing and bullying made it unbearable. A 9-5 office is completely the wrong environment. I am now looking into low paying work in nurseries in the hope of working in an environment where I am allowed to focus on one task at a time without constant disruption. I am a technician but female and always find I am stereotyped into clerical or even secretarial work.

Slack said...

I - my father - my sister are all on the spectrum.
My father ran billion dollar companies - I am the top salesperson at my company.
My sister has a PHD and works for NASA.

I have never worked in an office - and am paid on commissions only.
Working with customers is a learned trait.
Solving problems is the best part of my job.
I was not successful in school.

It can be done - I became a multimillionaire before hitting 40.
My father taught me that I could really do just about anything.
It was not as easy as it was for everyone else - but he kept throwing me back into the pool over and over.
Don't limit yourself - find something that you love - something that is rewarding to you.
If money is rewarding - go for a high paying job that you can stomach.
Don't be drawn to what others think.
Only you can test yourself.
Not everything is easy.

Unknown said...

I just tried my first full timish position in years I could not deal with it My anxiety/aspergers or whatever I got over whelmed I felt like 8-9 Hours a day was just to Much I was a House person lasted 2 weeks ,In 2006 I got a automotive technology diploma things did not go to well I tried a couple oil change one changed tires too, They expected me to know exactly what I did.. which I knew how for the most part I felt like people didnt give me a good enough chance. I been on disability and geting part time work here and there . I feel like something has to give . How is a guy supposed to ever have whats believed to be a biblical marriage if he cannot even be a provider confusing

Unknown said...

M'kay, where to begin. I was a gifted student and everyone had high expectations for me. I enjoyed writing and acceled in writing. I had an IQ of 118 as a 10 year old child. I was a good student and had many DEVOTED friends. Like, if I needed them, they would come running. I was feeding other performers lines onstage in performances when they tripped over parts. I played several sports, was in several bands and did missionary work in Latin American countries. I was never chastised in any serious way until it came time for me to join the work force. At age 24, I couldn't deliver a pizza, but I could argue a point with someone three times older than me and win. I could go to school and get A's without trying but, people at work thought I was slow. Now I understand it is my aspergers and it isn't a horrible curse and shouldn't be thought of as you're slow. You are just slightly, slightly different from other humans

Unknown said...

I know its been a while since you posted but how is medical assisting going? I got my LPN/LVN a few years ago and I've had a hard time finding a job that I can deal with. As well as AS, i have ADHD and anxiety and depression. As you can imagine, nursing school was a nightmare during clinical. The only jobs I've been able to do and be ok with are home care for seniors (which paid next to nothing as it was non medical) and my current job as a pediatric home health nurse during the night shift which I don't really like or feel completely comfortable with because of the high responsibility, but have to stick with because I just can't handle anything else and the pay is ok(not great though). Working in long term care or a hospital setting is definitely not something I could handle, as working in a fast paced and noisy environment is a nightmare.
As an MA with AS, how is working in a Drs office? I would have liked to work in a place like that, but I don't think I can because of my inability to be a fast paced environment.
This makes me very sad because I really wanted to be a nurse all my life and I worked very hard to get through school. I don't know how to do anything else, and the only thing I can think of that would be ok is medical filing perhaps. :(

Basketballrehab said...

Giving up sounds great most days, I have aspergers and am a disabled veteran who feels trapped. After I closed my business i couldn't get a decent job to save my life. I need to problem solve and use my mind to enjoy my work but no one will hire me for anything but customer service or tech support. I am hopeful on getting full disability as I just can't do the work that is offered and no one believes in my skill set so what's the point.

Adam Goldberg said...

It could be. I suppose that it depends. A big part of it is knowing where things are. Also, in a job like that, there is certainly enough routine. Routine is good for us Aspies.

Unknown said...

Check into paperwork nursing. I was a CNA but dropped out when I had my son. He is HFA and I am sure I am too. Working in a nursing home was alright for me when I did the night shift but not so doable now that I'm a mom. I took care of my husband s grandma till last Fall. I have hip dysplasia and had to have both my hips replaced and had to put grandma in a nursing home as I recovered. I do not know what it's called but their is an area of nursing that is mostly dealing with paperwork.

Coby said...

One thing to remember is that it's not about what you can and cannot learn, but about how you learn it. I learn things fact by fact and blink by blink. Then I put them together into a mental map. I work as a spoken language interpreter. It might seem counterintuitive that I would do that. It requires very strong short-term memory skills, some social skills, and fine motor control. I think the fine motor control is a spectrum issue. Some people have it and some don't. Autism is a difference in sensory processing, not in sensory sensitivity. Anyway, my life experiences, my special interests, and my training have made me very good at what I do. Interestingly, I did not start doing this job until I was 40. I did some of the other listed jobs instead. So be patient.

Unknown said...

I totally agree! We want to be the best that we can be in whatever field of work that we chose...I have found it difficult to decide on what I would be good at! I suppose I will follow what interests me and what I enjoy doing...I've run my own mobile massage business for 6years, opened my own massage and hydrotherapy clinic aswell. And have enjoyed being a builders labourer and recently a brickies labourer aswell..
Am busy creating my on line business currently. Am learning about website. Reaction and networking with others via the net-worldwide...
I have a thirst for knowledge and information and spend it of my time reading. Good old Google..lol
We are a creative group of colourful, & querky people who enjoy connecting with others even though we may not be fluent at it. Wishing you all happiness and pride in who you all have become despite our shared challenges. Xx

Sheila said...

Hi, I hope you are feeling better about yourself and the future. I have a 36 yr old son living at home working as a freelance writer. There are times we get really down but that usually happens when he looks at social media and starts.making comparisons. So don't lose hope. Do what you enjoy. God bless.

Cheryl said...

I agree. I'm a reference librarian and it isn't working out well. There is a lot of social interaction, and interruptions. One of my co-workers is very annoying and causes me problems on a regular basis. But instead of discipline her, I get in trouble for my reactions. Definitely do not become a librarian if you are on the spectrum.

Miguel Palacio said...

-Or if you become a reference librarian, make sure there aren't co-workers that are annoying. I believe that people on the spectrum can become better reference librarians because of better sorting and classification abilities than most people.

Bekah3 said...

My daughter is a about graduate & pass any test to get in College. She has 2 years of Culinary Arts. He teacher suggest a catering job. I praying for Chick-Fil-A .

sana said...

Last year I managed to get a developer job for a good digital agency. I am good at it since it does involve minimum people related tasks. Yet I am stuggling beacause of the many socials and charity stuffs the company keeps organising. If you don't get involved in these many stuffs "you don't fit in the company culture and values". So I am thinking about looking for a new job, this make me a job hoppers, moving to a new job at least once a year. Apparently this is not good for career either.

Wayne said...

I have had a successful career as a computer programming / developer for 22 years now (in "traditional" office plans). But now that work-spaces are moving to open plan (noise and distraction) I have decided to leave the field altogether. I'd recommend considering if you can adapt to open plan offices and activity based working / hot-desking before considering a career in a modern office.

Unknown said...

I always considered summer/part time work to be an integral part of preparation for a career. When I was in high school, I worked in a five and dime store. During college I worked a number of different jobs including:
* in the main branch of a bank balancing daily receipts.
* as a postman in the downtown mail sorting station.
* as a parking lot attendant.
* as a warehouseman in a large department store storage facility.
* as a night shift operator on a cyclotron.
* with a supercomputer performing heat transport modeling.
Doing summer internships can be a key for opening doors after college.
After graduating from college, I worked as an physicist, engineer, first line supervisor and then a manager over the span of 4 decades and then retired. One of the advantages of working as an engineer or computer programmer is that many times you are surrounded by individuals that also exhibit Aspie traits. Also do not ignore the opportunities of working in a trade such as an electrician, plumber, carpenter, builder, assembly line, HVAC etc.

Unknown said...

You have many gifts to offer with your education. If you are a book lover, try blogging or writing. Book stores like Chapters or online book stores. Research online maybe for job ideas for readers. There may be more out there that you may not be aware of. Never give up hope. Our lives are a winding road...be patient and when the time is right, you will find what you are meant to do. Hugs to You!

CPA814 said...

I agree with what Iran Freedom said:
"You should also indicate some qualifications with regard to accounting and tax because I found social skills were more important than intellectual ones in tax and accounting / auditing alike. I have a masters in taxation that I don't use because of it. I don't think accounting or tax work is highly suitable for folks like me with Aspergers."
I am a CPA and am miserable and don't know how to get out of this career. I'm constantly in a new office and need to talk to people all the time which I try to force on my coworkers because I am not good at it at all.

Unknown said...

I have Aspergers. I have tried all kinds of jobs. Now that I am over 60, the problem isn't deciding what job to do. The problem is employers do not want to hire people with Aspergers. Yes, there is a lot of discrimination in Canada. I have six years of college and still, employers do not want to hire me.

Argonauta said...

I am a paramedic. It is a good job! You have to be correct, and punctual, yes, you have to work with people, but not for a long time. Rewarding job for Neurotipicals and HFAs and for everyone!

Unknown said...

I have an associate degree in multimedia design and also in the same boat. The field is competitive and jobs are scarce, this means you have to be really good at what you do and be good at socializing and understanding verbal instructions. It's also hard doing freelance work for that very reason too bc you have to socialize in order to sell your skills. I'm 34 and the thought of going back to school again is overwhelming. I already dropped out of engineering school of two years (in 60$ in private loan debt) before taking 5 more years finishing my associate's degree in multimedia.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am the fiance of a loving, helpful, and passionate Asperger's man.

It's not always an easy thing for myself to be able to know always the right thing to do to connect, and/or react to him. We have been together for almost 5 years, getting married in a few months <3 , and very honestly I could not imagine my life without him. The only thing we struggle with that puts some tension on our relationship is his ability to keep a job. I don't have Asperger's but I definitely find it challenging to fit into society, and because of how open and unfiltered my fiance is, it was straight up - a breath of fresh air, from being surrounded by rude, fake, malicious people I had come in contact with in my life this far. I was pretty bullied by other girls growing up.

Which is exactly why, I'm not going to give up helping him find his path. He tries so hard to fit in, and he just doesn't. What has made us move forward has been realizing that, and coming to terms with that he is different and people aren't going to like him because he does not do what most society does, which is be filtered. People get so offened by every little thing, and I've noticed with my fiance, he just wants to help. He doesn't care who you are, what color, age, tier in the company you work for... If he sees something, he says something, and sadly!!!!! Because of that, he has lost many jobs. Sadly, being a person that has to watch someone not understand why his honesty is a problem, is definitely the struggle for me.

He has a huge passion for IT, but he didn't have the best up bringing and wasn't able to pursue it, or attend college for that matter. He did try to join the military, but due to a heart condition he was unable to continue past boot camp. Didn't make it any better, when 5 years later his younger brother joined. He has worked in warehouses, animal hospital, organic market, call center, pool cleaner, computer repair shop.. some he liked, most he didn't because most of them involved human interaction. He built his gaming PC by himself, he built his car from just a frame. But, he had to get spine surgery at 18 and is unable to lift anything more than 45 pounds now, so that limits a lot of the jobs many people are recommended like delivery delivery... In order for him to feel confident, and less miserable because he can't "fit in" to society, he needs to follow his passion and be surrounded by things he loves. Not a bad a way to be..

He was just signed as a twitch affiliate being a professional gaming streamer, which omg. Is amazing, and I could not be happier for him. B if you want to check out what that all means! But in the meantime while he continues playing for fun and growing it, he does need a temporary job that he can steadily keep for a few years. That's our struggle. In order for him to grow in the gaming world, he will need to continue to improve his setup, and we have many things we would like to do together which of course involves money. I am able to keep a job, and I make a decent salary and I am working on my own side thing to hopefully contribute to our income so I can be supportive. I wouldn't have it any other way, I just wish it wouldn't be this difficult sometimes for him. I've realized writing this, reading all of your comments, and being aside someone with Asperger's, that there is something very wrong with society. All of you are wonderful people, and absolutely deserve the very best and fulfilled lives, and I hope you find your passion. Follow your hearts, you have a passion. If you don't know what it is, find it.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a women like you, I just been diagnosed with level 3 asperger but such a understanding partner could make life a wholer lot easier for sure!

Vincent said...

Unknown, I wish your fiance luck with the twitch affiliate thing, I tried it as well and failed because the social interaction on it was too much to deal with.

As a child, around 5, my father was told that I needed help. He was one of those "there's nothing wrong with my kid" types, still is, 32 years later, and because of his denial we do not have a relationship, among other reasons. Growing up my grades were mostly good, and interacted "Ok" with the few kids I was "friends" with, with slight bullying when I appeared different to the more popular kids. We moved more often than I can count because my father who raised me by himself, not even military related moves, just to places it was easier for him to mooch off people and find homeless shelters that would take us in.

Fast forward to the age of 20, I received my GED and stressed about going to college but could never commit to the idea, and I'm honestly glad I didn't bother as I do not think it would have ended well. I got married at 22 and over the course of that 10 year marriage had 3 children with my ex-wife, who are all on the spectrum in some capacity. That marriage was mostly rocky because of my inability to relate to emotions, however I did hold 1 job, in a call center for 6 1/2 years. I think I was able to maintain that job because it was a 411 job, so most calls averaged 25 seconds or less. Whenever I've had to interact with customers longer than that, I tend to crack.

Now I am 37, and have been with my girlfriend for almost 4 years who is very understanding of my ASD, which I have never been "officially" diagnosed with, but if you knew me, you would definitely say I have it. I live in a state that makes it confusing on how to get services, disability, or what have you so it's a constant mental struggle.

Early intervention is a must and I hate to be resentful of my father and upbringing, but it's hard not to be. Even to this day he swears there's nothing wrong with me, but I feel he's mostly like that because he doesn't want to admit the possibility of something being wrong with himself as he's always struggled keeping friends, and being easily addicted/obsessed with topics/things as well. I am grateful that my children were diagnosed early, which is what lead to me realizing all those years later what my struggles might have been caused by.

Unknown said...

Speaking as an air traffic controller of over 25 years experience in medium and high density operations, and as someone diagnosed with Asperger's, ATC should not be on the "bad job" list. I recently asked 4 of my colleagues to take the AQ50 test; 3 of the 4 scored in the autistic range. At a rough guess, between 15% and 30% of air traffic controllers are autistic.

Anonymous said...

Can't really give you the whole life story in this format, but here are the broad strokes. I basically went out of control as a teenager. Stopped going to school, started running around with the 'bad kids' and doing drugs and partying too much.

Later on figured out that I was different, somehow. Still no diagnosis. Bad stuff happened to and for me. Learned hard lessons. Did a math degree high honors, BA. Became a diet and exercise freak.

Worked unbelievably hard. Made a lot of money. Got burned out. Mentally recuperating and trying to think about where to go from here. Life is easier if you are doing what everybody else is doing. It sucks, but that's never been me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Erin! Since you like kids, did you think about teaching/tutoring kids? Perhaps you can teach English, French, Writing skills, etc. You can also do it online, over the zoom app.

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