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Aspergers Traits: A Positive for Many Careers

Trait #1—All He Cares About in the World Is One Thing

If you've ever worked at a 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.

Trait #2—He Can't See the Forest for the Trees

It's a common trait among Aspergers (high functioning autistic) individuals: they 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 (e.g., as an astronomer), unique cells (e.g., as a lab technician), differences among species (e.g., as a biological researcher), or particular qualities of objects (e.g., as a gemologist, antiques appraiser, or art historian).

Trait #3—His Only Friends Are His Family

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 (i.e., 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 on their own.

Trait #4—He's So Rule-Oriented

In a typical workplace, most individuals bend and break the rules. This is very tough for many Aspergers individuals, 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.

Trait #5—He’s So Detail-Oriented

Q: Since when have passion, meticulous attention to detail, and lack of interest in office gossip been problems in the workplace? A: Since the workplace was defined as a 9-5 social setting! It's true that offices -- and the stock rooms at Wal-Mart -- are "typical" work settings. But Aspergers individuals aren't typical. And neither are the careers for which they're ALREADY good candidates.

Trait #6—He Likes Animals, Not People

It's not easy to become a veterinarian. But consider some of the many animal-oriented careers available. For example:
  • animal tech at a veterinary practice or kennel
  • animal wrangler for the entertainment industry
  • caring for horses at a stable, horse-farm or track
  • naturalist or husbandry expert at a museum or aquarium
  • pet store employee
  • working on a farm
  • zookeeper or animal curator at a zoo or petting farm
…and the list goes on and on!

Trait #7—He Thinks In Pictures

Some Aspergers individuals 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 CAD (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.

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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