Guest(s): Dr. Janessa Manning, Dr. Chris Plauche
The Asperger brain is different in both its function and anatomy as shown in MRI brain scans. This medical study explains why people diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome cannot read social cues, thus ‘acting’ differently. It is not bad behavior, it comes from a brain that is different!
We’re often asked if individuals on the spectrum should disclose at work. While we at ASTEP have our personal views on this topic, what we do is help each individual think through their situation and come to a decision that is comfortable for them. The below blog post is one of the best we’ve seen by an individual sharing their experience about being someone with autism in the workplace, and what that means when disclosed and when not disclosed.
You can find the original post from The Guardian here.
Not everyone wants to be a part of the office Secret Santa. Photograph: Getty Images
A late diagnosis of autism meant I struggled with the alien codes of small talk and office politics – until I started work at an autism charity.
I was sitting in a doctor’s office, describing yet again how a day at work could be hell. I told him why sharing the same space, listening to my colleagues’ music/small talk/breathing drove me mad and why someone saying “good morning” could feel like a personal invasion. The doctor was new, young; he gave a nod of recognition and then he said something strange: “I think you may be autistic”.
Dr. Temple Grandin once told my son Sam: “when you’re looking for employment, you must show your work“. Indeed! For someone diagnosed with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome, you must rely on the merit of your work, because oftentimes challenging social cues can override a large portion of the interviewing process.
Asperger Syndrome Training and Employment Partnership provides a very good checklist to review before you go through the interview process.
As part of our continued segment on Employment in partnership with ASTEP, today we bring you a sample of ASTEP’s training offerings for Employers.
Seeking employment is a crucial topic for those with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism. ASTEP offers critical tools, tips, and training for both employers hiring potential employees with Aspergers, and for those on the spectrum searching for employment.
Fish Climbing Trees
Einstein once said, “Everybody’s a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it’s stupid.”
In a previous post we briefly discussed the importance of the inventory assessment in securing employment. This inventory also helps employment specialists identify an individual’s personal preferences.
As you know, Aspergers manifests itself uniquely to each person, so employment specialists have to know which types of stimuli will be helpful, and which will be hurtful.
Is the individual sensitive to noise? Are they comfortable working outdoors? Can they tolerate working in a closed space for an eight-hour shift? What are their social tolerances? Essentially, we need to understand if an individual is hypo-sensitive or hypersensitive. Knowing the answers to these questions in advance help to ensure future success.
A common mistake some people make is comparing an autistic meltdown to a temper tantrum in younger children. Often when someone is younger, they don’t know how to properly express or work out frustration which occurs during the meltdown, so there could be screaming, crying, and even thrashing.
It might look like a temper tantrum, but it’s not being done for attention or to get something like a temper tantrum is done for. It’s done because the child is overwhelmed and-or frustrated, and don’t know any other way to express it.