Asperger's Syndrome Newletter Header Image

Volume 61

Hi, I'm Craig Kendall, the author of Thriving in Adulthood with Asperger's Syndrome.

Essential Employment Advice for Asperger's Adults

I received this email from a concerned grandmother...

I am the grandmother of a 26 year old intelligent, depressed, frustrated, non-diagnosed man with Asperger's Syndrome. He was reading at 3 yrs. old.  Kindergarten was a nightmare for him & his teachers because they didn't know what to do with him. His IQ test at 5 yrs. old was 144. His drawings have always been amazing & he has been drawing on the computer for the last 10 years.

We have no idea how to help him. He did graduate from high school and started at a college for one semester but we think he dropped out before the end of the semester.

He spends 24 hours a day in his small, cramped, dark room doing who know what online. Sometimes he comes out for meals, but eats very little. Most of the symptoms that are listed are things he has exhibited since he was a year old. Melt-downs, refusing to wear most clothing, not knowing how to play with peers, any change in his environment would throw him into what has to be called a "fit". This behavior has almost stopped because as his sister calls it, he seldom comes out of his "Bat Cave". He is very adept on the computer but, without experience somewhere and self-confidence he will never be self-sufficient or a productive, contributing adult.

If you have any info or suggestions that might be of assistance to us, would you please help us.

There are many reasons why this young adult is depressed. He has no friends, has no job, is not self sufficient and at this point in his life, sees no future.  He obviously wants to be a contributing member of society but in order to get there he needs employment.

Here is an excerpt from my book, the Thriving in Adulthood with Asperger's Syndrome which may help address this problem.

What are some of the difficulties that adults with Aspergerís have getting and keeping a job?

To start, we will talk about the problems those with AS have getting and keeping jobs.

Part One: The Interview

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, problems for adults with AS and employment is getting through the initial interview. You can be the brightest, sharpest person out there, you can know the job inside out, but unless you can connect with the person doing the interview socially, and can come across well, you will never get past the front door.

People with AS do not do small talk well. They might answer questions in a far too explicit manner or say nothing at all; give too much detail about their faults when it is not needed; not look people in the eye and seem excessively nervous and fidgety, which is a sign to most interviewers that they are not prepared or not right for the jobówhen, in fact, they are like that all the time.

People with AS can be trained in how to get through an interview, how to look people in the eye, how to answer questions the right way. But they are often going to have an air of anxiety pervading them that they canít rid of no matter how much they try, and the interviewers pick up on this and often see them negatively for it. Not all, but a lot of them. Practicing mock interviews with a coach or friend will help a lot. Practicing eye contact, and role playing questions and answers will help give the person with AS a sense of what they should and shouldnít do in an interview, and the kind of questions that will be asked. There are job coaches that are skilled in this, or even friends or family members can help.

Also, the adult with AS will likely need guidance in selecting proper attire for the interview. Does it require a suit, or just a polo shirt? What kind of pants go best with the shirt? Tie or no tie? The way a person presents themselves is very important in an interview; but presentation, and being aware of how they come across, is something that is very hard for most adults with AS.

Ten Job Interview Tips

These are some ways the adult with Aspergerís can improve their performance on a job interview.

1.      Donít badmouth your past boss

Remember not to talk negatively about your previous job or employer. This only reflects negatively on you and your character. The employer will wonder if you make it a habit to speak negatively of all those you come in contact with. This is not good for workplace morale.

2.      Make sure you understand any questions before you answer

If you donít take the time to understand and clarify the question, your answer may make no sense and you may have missed an important chance to show off your strengths. Take a minute or two to compose a thoughtful answer.

3.      Try not to appear too desperate

If you seem desperate, it is a turn off. Employers want to hear what your skills are and why you would be a good fit for the organization, not your life story and how you need the job to feed your two kids and ten guinea pigs at home.

4.      Donít slouch

Try to be aware of your body posture and not slouch. Sit up straight as much as you can.

5.      Watch your language

It goes without saying you should not curse or use any colorful language. The workplace is not the right place for that.

6.      Donít pick your nose

Donít pick your nose or display any other unusual hygiene.  This may be obvious but some adults with Asperger's need a little reminder to bring a tissue and comb and to take care of personal issues before the interview starts.

7.      Donít complain about anything

If you had to drive around for twenty minutes to find a parking spot, or you think the coffee they served you is too cold, itís probably not the right time to talk about it.

8.      Try not to space out or lose attention

If youíre thinking about what youíre having for dinner that night, the interviewer will probably know.

9.      Talk about the job, not your life

Donít give your life story or talk about any problems you are having in your personal life. Stick to talking about the job and relevant, job related experiences you have had.

10.  Maintain eye contact

This may be a hard one, especially for those with Asperger's. If you find it really tough to look a person in the eye, then try this trickófocus on the end of the personís nose. Most people cannot tell the difference.

This is just a small amount of the information you will need to know in order to thrive with Asperger's syndrome as an adult, check out my book, the Thriving in Adulthood with Asperger's Syndrome for useful advice.

 

Learn how to...

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Make and keep friends

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Building relationships

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Get and KEEP a job

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Minimize depression and add meaning to your life

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Understand therapy options and much more.

This book is not only for adults who have Asperger's but also for their loved ones

Which of these questions do you want to solve?

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Are you struggling in an unhappy marriage and want to save it?

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Do you have an Asperger's loved one who cannot seem to get or hold a job?

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Has the romance, fire and passion gone out of your relationship and you are at the end of your rope?

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Do you have an adult child who is "stuck"? Still living at home? Living an isolated life with no meaningful relationships?

Yes, Craig, I want to help my loved one who has Aspergers and improve my relationship with them

Click here to order

 

My book on Aspergers for Teens and Young Adults discusses bullying, anxiety, depression and what to do about it. Click here for more information:

www.aspergerssociety.org/teen_book.htm

 

The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide Book Image

For additional information on Asperger's Syndrome go to the web site  www.AspergersSociety.org. There you will be able to sign up for the free Aspergers newsletter as well as get additional information on the book, The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.

Craig Kendall is the father of an Asperger's child and the author of "The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide". You can find more information about living with Asperger's Syndrome by contacting him on this site: www.AspergersSociety.org

 

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Thank you,

Craig Kendall, Author