Need to know where to look

I’m 33 with Autism. That’s not the problem in my case, maybe except for the fact that sometimes we don’t get a fair shake even when you’re like me and can keep pace with the next person. I’m tired. I need a change. I’ve been associated with the Security Field since October 1, 2004. Volunteer, Investigations Specialist, Intern, Asset Protection, Supervisor, and Support Leadership. I’m just coming off of 8 years with my last employer. I was forced to walk off the job due to what I was being subjected to. I found a better company with better pay in this field, but the damage has been done. I no longer have the drive or the energy to remain in a profession that pretty turned its back on me despite my best skills in Field Investigation and assembling Case Files. When I first got into the Asset Protection section of the field where 8 of my 15 years has been, we were able to go hands on with Suspects and carry them to the office like screaming children, though that’s not something I typically did personally. Now we are restricted to hands off completely unless it’s a matter of self defense. In a way, it’s made the field more dangerous for us. Some companies as I mentioned above, they don’t treat you all that well, and threaten you with your job if you don’t meet an Apprehension Quota which isn’t even in the policy because they’re not supposed to do that. I left the last one because of this. Love my current team but I want the best for them. As a result of all this, I’m asking for anyone who knows anything where I can look. I’m a lifelong Car Geek, Aviation Nerd, and Wrench Turner. My last car was a 2010 Hyundai that I maintained to the tip of perfection with my own hands until I was rear ended which totaled my car. I ended up with a 2019 Hyundai from the same dealer that I previously sourced my parts from. I keep a toolbox in my trunk, and routinely help people diagnose problems with their cars because among my tools is an OBD reader. I need to get into that field. That’s the concluding I’ve come to. Aviation Mechanic or something along the lines thereof. In order to do that, I have to get into school for it. Do any of you know if there’s education programs for Adults with Autism for someone my age? I’m 33 years old and have been diagnosed since 1989. Any assistance will help.
  • Local community colleges or junior colleges often have job training programs. You should check them out in your area. When you find a program you're interested in then look for the school's student assistance office, or office of student's with disabilities. The name is sometimes a little different depending on the school, but they all have offices that help students with disabilities get the help they need to be successful in a job training program. Anyway, you can have a talk with someone at that office about how your autism affects your learning, and other school issues, and they can help make sure the school makes any "reasonable accommodations" that you may need.

    Beware of private schools and training programs, they might be ok, but they are not part of the state and so are less accountable.

    Best of luck!
  • In reply to Beryllium Fall:

    Looking around my area, it does seem like the options are pretty good. There’s one Automotive Group that looks like it takes people with no experience and helps put them through. The cool part that it’s the same people I’ve been going to for my cars since I moved here from Las Vegas back in 2012. My understanding is that Hyundai does pay pretty well. It’s still not 100% at this point as I’m only 3 months into my new job in my current field. The problem is that I had to fight against a lot of things to keep my current career going. Realizing I couldn’t justify saving my tenure with the company, I looked for a much better company with a far better reputation. I’m fresh out of training for this new company and absolutely love working for them. They’ve welcomed me like a family, which is a very rare thing. My base location has rallied around me and I’m about to hand out awards to three people on my next shift. If I do end up getting my energy back that I had prior to having to fight for the survival of my career, I’ll reconsider leaving my field. Even my family is telling me to reconsider, because this is the only field I’ve known. I’ll give it another little while and if it doesn’t change, then I’ll press on with this career change. The other option is to stay in the field but find another section of it to get into, like the internship I did in Vegas. That was for Executive Protection. It’s about weighing my options I suppose.
  • In reply to James D:

    After some recent developments of a very positive nature, I’ve made the decision that for the time being, I’m going to go ahead and keep my career going. The new job, the people I’m working with have shown support the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Two days ago was a rough day where nothing went right. One of the top managers(my job is also considered a management position), his daughter is also on the Autism Spectrum. As of the moment I have yet to disclose mine. He was very supportive of my decisions made in a couple of situations and my communication with him. Then the end of my shift happened. I’m training someone already, and the moment came that made a rough day absolutely glorious. He was there for that too. It wasn’t just him. It’s also the people we have under our leadership who actually go out of their way to be my extra eyes. Even though Monday was crazy, I went home pretty much electrified. Any job that energizes you like that, that’s unheard of in my field. Asset Protection, most companies treat you as a number. I find myself feeling human and knowing I’m valued here. My post above was before fully confirming this realization. I’m finding the same kind of energy I had when I first came into Security in 2004. October 1 will make 15 years.
  • In reply to James D:

    Thanks for posting an update. So glad things are looking up for you now.