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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 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.

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Preventing Meltdowns in Students with Aspergers and HFA: Strategies for Teachers

In this post, we will look at strategies to prevent autism-related emotional outbursts in the classroom… 

Children diagnosed with Aspergers (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) require assistance from educators if they battle with behavior issues in school. Listed here are numerous useful techniques that each teacher ought to know.

AS and HFA may co-exist with other conditions including Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depressive disorders, and anxiety. But mainly, the disorder has an effect on a youngster’s ability to socialize. These children have a problem recognizing facial expressions, sarcasm, and teasing, and fight to adjust to unanticipated changes in routine. Their passions are usually very narrow, which can limit their capacity to connect with others.

As a result of these challenges, kids on the autism spectrum frequently experience rage, anxiety, depression, and irritation. There are many successful interventions that may be used in the school room to help improve the youngster’s learning experience. These can assist the student in feeling more comfortable and decrease anxiety, paving the way for academic achievement.

1. Create a Plan for Emotional Outbursts— Offer a quiet location for the student that has repeated meltdowns. This may be a trip to the bathroom with a classroom aide, or a visit to the school counselor. A written plan for coping during these times of high anxiety is crucial for an AS or HFA student’s success. Assisting kids on the spectrum inside the school room is an additional challenge for today’s overburdened educators. Nevertheless, with insightful monitoring, parental and professional assistance, and inventive techniques, a love of school and learning is usually fostered in kids with AS and HFA.

2. Make Classroom Rules Clear— Children with AS and HFA thrive on rules, but will frequently disregard them when they're vague or not meaningful. Educators should detail the most crucial school room guidelines and why they exist. An itemized list plainly shown, or a handout of the classroom policies can be quite beneficial.

3. Managing Felt Emotions— Another area by which these kids need practical assistance is in controlling felt emotions. Usually, felt feelings are way too big for the situation. One individual with AS states, “An example in my life is when I discover the grocery store is out of a specific item; I get a visceral reaction very similar to the horror I felt when first hearing about the 9/11 tragedy. I know cognitively the two events have no comparison and, yet, my visceral reaction is present and I need to consciously bring my too big feelings down to something more workable in the immediate situation.”

Managing felt emotions does not come automatically, but can be learned over time with systematic instruction and visual supports.

4. Minimize Surprises in the Classroom— Children on the autism spectrum require organized settings to achieve success. They don't like surprises. Things such as unexpected seating changes or unanticipated adjustments to the routine might lead to anxiousness as well as meltdowns. Educators need to provide sufficient warnings when there is to be a change of plans.

For instance, sending a note home to the moms and dads if a seating change is imminent would be beneficial. A back up plan can be presented to the class in anticipation of schedule changes. When the Friday schedule that usually includes watching an educational film in the afternoon changes if time is short, the teacher should inform the children ahead of time that they will work on free reading or journaling instead, as an example.

5. Promote Supportive Friendships— If it seems suitable, educate the class about the disorder. Create empathy by making children conscious of inappropriate words and bullying behaviors. Emphasize the youngster’s talents in classroom lessons to enable him to discover buddies with common interests. When the student on the spectrum appears to be struggling with relationships, group him during classroom activities with the ones that are more kind and understanding. At recess or lunch time, try assigning a classroom pal that will be loyal and guide the youngster through those more chaotic times.

6. Provide Sensory Support— Many kids with AS and HFA also encounter sensory processing issues. Sensitivity to light, sound, touch, taste, and smells can irritate the youngster, making him more likely to act out or withdraw. Consult the moms and dads to determine what these sensitivities are. Minimizing classroom mayhem, noises, and clutter will be a good start.

If at all possible, get the help of an occupational therapist and try to work sensory breaks into the youngster’s school day. Chores such as returning a load of books to the library or even doing a few jumping jacks in the hallway can go a long way in helping the youngster realign and get back to learning.

7. Sensory Diet— Regrettably, medical science doesn't permit us to take a blood sample to measure sensory dysregulation. However, we can figure out and employ a sensory diet to prevent dysregulation, and just like insulin prevents serious consequences for a diabetic, a sensory diet prevents serious troubles for the child on the spectrum. As one adult with AS states, “I spend time every day on sensory integration activities in order to be able to function well in my everyday life.”

A sensory diet employed proactively goes a long way in preventing the first stage of explosive behavior from ever occurring.

8. Visual Supports— An additional critical area of assistance to put in place proactively is visual supports. As one individual with AS states, “I can tell you the saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is the monumental truth. Although each person with the disorder has a unique experience, processing written and spoken words is not considered by most of us to be our ‘first language.’ For me, the meaning I get from spoken words can drop out entirely when I am under stress, my sensory system is dysregulated or my felt emotions are too big.”

Visual supports can be anything that shows rather than tells. Visual schedules are very commonly used successfully with many kids on the spectrum. Having a clear way to show beginnings and endings to the activities portrayed on the visual schedule supports smooth changes, therefore keeping a meltdown away. For maximum effectiveness, visual supports need to be in place proactively rather than waiting until behavior unravels to pull them out.

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==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


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Anonymous said... I feel your pain my daughter deals with being yelled at for crying nd melting down. I will be giving these out to all who deal with her!
Anonymous said... I printed this for my son's teacher. He often yells at him and compares him to the other kids. We have a meeting with him today to discuss my son's attitude...
Anonymous said...I have experienced meltdowns myself, being and individual with AS. I remember some feelings that I had experienced in 6th grade. Whenever my teacher was angry at me, even just the slightest hint that would express any kind of unhappiness because of me, I would feel as though I had just ‘become frozen’, and begin to cry. It became clear to me that she absolutely did not appreciate my behavior, and would draw all attention to me. To this day, I feel like this was not the correct procedure for a meltdown, and that every teacher should know and understand the facts and statements listed in the article above. (Ok, maybe I am currently only in middle school, but I feel that I have made my point.)
Anonymous said...Is there any way he can go to school and see what this sports Day is goiing to be about before Thursday? Or at least talk tothe teacher and have him/her give you allt he details they possibly can that you can relay to your 9 yr old? I know that knowing ahead of time some of the expectations and what is going to go on helps my son sometimes.
Anonymous said...Sports day is on Thursday and already my 9 year old Aspergers son is getting really worked up about. I am dreading it as I know it will end in tears and a meltdown again. Any tips on how to handle it or how to tell the school to handle it.
Anonymous said...Will the school not just let him join in if he wants to or give him a job like helping at the starting lines or making sure he cheers for his classmates. Thats what my son school does - if he wants he takes part if not he gets jobs to do that make him feel important.

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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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content