Aspergers Traits That Come In Handy On The Job

The following are traits that Aspergers (high functioning autism) individuals tend to have that are also a plus for many careers:

1. Has poor verbal skills: No problem! There are a ton of jobs were talking is not a requirement (e.g., Copy shop making photocopies, Data entry, Factory assembly work, Cleaning and cooking jobs, Janitor jobs, Lawn and garden work, Plant care, Recycling plant and sorting jobs, Re-shelving library books, Restocking shelves, working in a warehouse loading trucks and stacking boxes, etc.).

2. Is detail-focused: Software testing is the perfect fit for Aspies. They're very focused on detail, able to do highly repetitive work, and able to spot imperfections.

3. Likes to categorize: Some Aspies like to categorize, so a job as a librarian might be good.

4. Is more interested in things than people: This trait may not get you invited to the prom, but it's a wonderful attribute if you're a forest ranger, a self-employed writer or artist, a caretaker at an estate, a gardener or horticulturalist, or even a paleontologist (dinosaur scientist). After all, lack of interest in other individuals is not indicative of lack of interest in or ability to manage things, animals, or systems. And it's not easy to find a qualified person who's willing to spend extended periods of time on their own.

5. Prefers the company of animals rather than people: It's not easy to become a veterinarian, but consider some of the many animal-oriented careers available (e.g., caring for horses at a stable, horse-farm or track; working on a farm; zookeeper or animal curator at a zoo or petting farm; animal wrangler for the entertainment industry; naturalist or husbandry expert at a museum or aquarium; pet store employee; animal tech at a veterinary practice or kennel).

6. Is rule-oriented: In a typical workplace, most individuals bend and break the rules. This is very tough for many Aspies, who need and respond to structure. But there are plenty of work places in which rules are absolute -- for everyone. Of course, the most obvious choice for rule-oriented individuals is the military. But even in hospitals and labs, rule-following is not only important -- it's critical.

7. Is single-minded: If you've ever worked at museum, lab or university, you'll find worlds full of single-minded, passionate individuals. To an academic, their area of interest, no matter how small, is desperately interesting. The same is true of museum professionals and archaeologists, who spend their lives studying individual artifacts, bones or textiles.

8. Tends to be good at math, music or facts: For Aspies with these skills, the possibilities are almost endless (e.g., Accounting, Bank teller, Clerk and filing jobs, Computer programming, Copy editor, Engineering, Inventory control, Journalist, Laboratory technician, Library science, Physicist or mathematician, Statistician, Tuning pianos and other musical instruments, and on and on).

9. Tends to see the parts instead of the whole: It's a problem in some settings, but a terrific attribute if you're looking for deep space anomalies (as an astronomer), unique cells (as a lab technician), differences among species (as a biological researcher), particular qualities of objects (as a gemologist, antiques appraiser, or art historian).

10. Is a visual thinker: Some Aspies can, with virtually no effort, envision a 2-dimensional photograph as a 3-dimensional object. With appropriate training, such individuals are ideal candidates for jobs in areas like computer aided design, architectural model construction, industrial design, exhibit prototyping, and much more. The key is finding and supporting the training that can lead to such careers.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

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