employers and autism

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Are there some online job boards catering to employment opportunities with adults with autism? Some guidance here would be welcome - and not those places sucking fees out of me.
  • My experience is very much the same as Gavia's. I made my own way in an NT world. I waas the first of the "baby boomers" so aspergers was not considered as a possible diagnosis. I made it through school, then college, then grad school. I never told anyone of my problems. They considered me "wierd" and "a loner." I did have diagnoses as depressed and bi-polar. also schizophrenic. I think that shrink needed help himself. I have never used mental illness, nor aspergers, as an excuse during my career. It made things very difficult. I couldn't read people and accepted what people told me rather than interpret what thay meant. But I survivrd and did reasonably well for an aspie born before the condition was even known.

    Today, I let people, including my family, know about my condition. I'm too old nopw for it to count for or against me. During my working life, howe3ver, I never let anyone know about any of my "mental" or "emotional" problems. I was simply the best at what I did and they knew it.

  • Seems to me the difficulties truly arise when an aspie child experiences a difficult childhood and teenage years. I've selfdiagnosed myself only lately after many years of living with layers and layers of emotional damage. One probably doesn't need a psychiatrist for rescue as an aspie, but to even understand what's what, the defensive scars have to be removed. Of course the psychiatrist will rarely recognize the aspie under the depressions and the phobias. That in the end we have to recognize ourselves.
    I too finally gained strength from a really interesting job. Also, working with books, I discovered that there are people like me who have a hard time entering the so-called "real world". But the psychiatrist truly saved my life. Maybe there has to be a good fit - some have been disasters.
    The problem arises when one retires. That job was a cocoon.
  • I think there's always a danger that those of us who are less socially able will focus on work as the centre of our lives without anything else to replace that centre should it no longer be there. But then what else would make an ideal centre for us?

    I find that anytime there are redundancies or re-organisations where I work that they affect me more then they do the others because most of them centre their lives on their families or social circles. It's ever so strange for someone to say to me 'it's only a job' when it's so much more than that.

    I have tried to supplement my work centred life with hobbies in the hope that I'll have something to fall back on should I ever be made unintentionally unemployed. I can only hope that it will work because I'm disinclined to take a 'career break' to give it a trial run.
  • I wonder - most of the correspondents here are probably under middleage or thereabouts. I have a son and a nephew in their 40s. My son has two children, my nephew is not married. Do you think I should tell them about my "condition"? Neither one of them is particularly curious about such things.
  • i have gone to some free training classes to get working for a company, hopefully. [and then there is some paid training coming, and then a job.]
    if i were to go to this company's website, to apply for a job there, i am not supposed to write the name of my disability -- where they ask you if you need any 'accommodations' for the job at their work place. i would write the word 'yes', instead, right there, and then they would know i was disabled. that is how my worker described it.
    anyway, by law, accommodations have to be made, i am sure but you can check.
    a disability got me the free training because i 'qualified' for it.
    i cannot explain this very well. but maybe you want to realize you do not have to write the reason you need accommodations. there is disability law which may apply. .
  • Walgreens [stores and pharmacies] have a great disability outreach
  • Refering back to Gavia's post. The trouble is, you need the job to finance the other interests.

    I don't like my job much. It is not very suited to an AS person, and I had to struggle very hard to hold on to it in the beginning, and adapt to it. But quite simply, it's where I ended up. Younger people, particularly of course nts, will cheerfully say "if you don't like it, you should change it." But I know this is not a realistic stance for me to take. I have no illusions that there are hundreds of employers out there itching to hire a woman in late middle-age, with no particular skills and (while with an overall high IQ) certain learning difficulties! Particularly in todays climate, I need to hold on to it with both hands. I have been unemployed for periods in the past, and it is hell.

    One of my greatest frustrations is that it tires me so much that I don't have the energy for other interests. I belong to a bushwalking club, and would like to become more involved with it. (Not very expensive except for the gear.) Go to the gym (very expensive). Like going to the theatre (expensive). Every few years I try to take an overseas trip (very expensive.)

    Lets face it, I need the bloody job, although it is so draining.
  • I know what you mean Leopard. About holding onto the job, and the no illusions.....
    I do have hobbies and things - that aren't expensive. My job doesn't pay so well that I could have ever started in expensive hobbies - but then again, being a collector - I can't exactly claim that as a cheap hobby.....

    I think that the environment for employment opportunities for AS folks will improve in proportion to the economy improving. I'm optimistic that will happen, at some point - but I don't expect it to be soon.

    I nearly lost my job last winter, and thankfully, when I made my employer aware of why I had the limitations and difficulties with the position they'd put me into (I had to release records to them - so I started out with a new doctors office, thus preventing them from getting anything other than what I released to them from that office), they found me a spot elsewhere instead of letting me go. So, sometimes it's not a bad thing to tell them - it depends on your circumstances. It was sure touch and go for a while.
  • Why do you sell yourself short Leopard?

    You are gainfully employed, that alone should prove to you that you are employable and useful to anyone who needs what you do. You don't need hundreds of employers ready to offer you a job, just one is enough. But that one won't know you are looking for a better job unless you put in an application.

    Yes, we need to work to have money but if your job, the place where you spend a third of your life, and roughly half your waking hours, is sucking the soul out of you then it is time to look for something different. I change jobs fairly regularly and just having something new, even if it's not getting me more money, helps to make my working life more interesting and tolerable. And if that's going well then everything else just seems better for it.

    I am a middle aged woman, have only a highschool diploma, I'm painfully plain, a bit too outspoken for my own good, I've changed jobs often, I am a foreigner in the country I live in, and there are some very normal things that I am hopeless at, like taking notes and remembering names for more than 1.5 seconds... are we so very different?

    If you see a job on offer, apply, if you get an interview, go to it, if you get a job offer, consider it. Just do not spend any more time thinking that no one would hire you.

    [Updated on 7/23/2009 9:01 AM] -- fixed a typo... pedantic as usual
  • Interesting line about identifying with your job. While I was working, I "WAS" my job. Ot was WHO I was as well as WHAT I was. I lived it 24/7. When I became disabled, I went through a depressive let-down that was, to me, almost catistrophic. Diffferent from changing jobs. I changed jobs several times in my carreer. But each time I changed, I was still an identifyable ME. Different from not being able to work at anything anymore. Perhaps also a real danger of the condition - or maybe it is just me.

  • In reply to chimigal:

    I don’t know if you are still on this blog chimigal. What terrific advice. What job are you doing now?
  • In reply to chimigal:

    I don’t know if you are still on this blog chimigal. What terrific advice. What job are you doing now?
  • In reply to mida09:

    I would love to email you. Need help
  • In reply to mida09:

    I would love to email you. Need help