Employment

Those with Asperger profiles often have significant skills, abilities, and talents in a wide range of fields in addition to having a great desire to contribute to society and make a difference in the world. We need people who think differently to innovate, create, and solve problems. Unfortunately, many individuals with Asperger profiles who have these abilities are not given ample opportunities to contribute. Despite the fact that most individuals with Asperger profiles have an above average IQ, roughly 12% of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum are employed full-time; the remaining 88% are either unemployed or underemployed.

In the right environments, with the proper accommodations, and understanding supervisors, people with Asperger profiles can become dependable, loyal, trustworthy, capable, and valuable employees.

Essential Resources:

Employment Toolbox 
Life Planning: Employment
LifeMAP Coaching
Resources for Professionals

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Tips on What to Do if You Believe You Have Been a Victim of Campus…

Article
**This article  is the second in a series of articles that are designed to provide students with a diagnosis of Asperger's or autism with tips regarding the sexual misconduct policies and procedures at our nation's colleges.**  The first article, Tips for Preventing A Violation of College Sexual Misconduct Policies, discussed best practices that... more

Tips for Preventing A Violation of College Sexual Misconduct Policies

Article
** The following is the first in a series of articles that are designed to provide students with a diagnosis of Asperger’s or autism with tips regarding the sexual misconduct policies and procedures at our nation’s colleges. **If you are presently a student at a college or university, it is likely that you have heard discussions about... more

2017 Benefits Conference: Employment Materials

Article
These materials were presented at Asperger Syndrome and Adult Life: Navigating the Massachusetts Public and Private Supports and Service Systems on February 4th, 2017 and are gathered here for review.Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission OverviewElsa Jiménez: Working with Public BenefitsLeslie O'Brien: Aspire Internship... more

Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Is Occupational Therapy Right for You?

Article
Elaine Hill works at the Center for the Disabled in Albany, NY, in a day rehab program. She has over 13 years of experience in occupational therapy.Young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome may face challenges with social interaction, impaired motor skills, sensory processing issues, repetitive patterns of behavior and intensely focused... more

Employment and Asperger Syndrome

Article
By Ashleigh Hillier, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts LowellGraduating from high school and transitioning to the world of work is an extremely important and exciting milestone. However, for many young adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS), employment can present some unique challenges. Despite the vastly... more

Tips from an Aspie for Success in the Workplace

Article
By Sam FarmerConsidering my Asperger’s diagnosis, I feel very fortunate to have had a wealth of career successes over the years. As a result, I have much to share regarding what has contributed to this success. Hopefully at least some of what I have to say proves to be beneficial to you with respect to your employment situation - though... more

Asperger Fact Sheet

Article
About AS:It is a neurological condition that affects the way information is processed in the brain. AS is a hidden disability. Many people appear very competent, but they have difficulties in the areas of communication and social interaction. AS has a genetic and hereditary component... more

Helping Adults with Asperger Syndrome Get and Stay Hired

Recommended Reading
Employment expert Barbara Bissonnette provides strategies that professionals and parents can use to work alongside individuals with Asperger/Autism profiles to help find and keep manageable jobs.Career counselors and coaches, vocational rehabilitation specialists, other professionals, and... more

Parallel Play Book Talk

Video
Tim Page, author of Parallel Play, discusses growing up with Asperger Syndrome and making his way in the... more

Transitioning from High School to College or Employment

Webinar
Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf shares practical strategies for transitioning to... more

The Hidden Curriculum of Keeping A Job

Webinar
Learn about the hidden rules of the workplace and how you can manage when you are on the autism... more

Enhancing Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and Related Profiles

Webinar
This video discusses the strengths and weaknesses of people who have Asperger Syndrome or related profiles as it relates to the work environment. It focuses on the challenges that those individuals face and the supports that can help them... more

Autism Without Fear: Examining the Legitimacy of Autism Life Coaches

External Resource
Over the last five years there’s been a noticeable increase in people with varying experience levels promoting themselves as “autism life coaches” — people who advertise their services to adults on the spectrum, parents or partners.Read... more

Neurodiversity: The Benefits of Recruiting Employees with Cognitive Disabilities

External Resource
The growing interest in neurodiversity—hiring people with cognitive disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)—is motivated by companies looking to tap into a largely unnoticed labor pool at a time when many bemoan the lack of skilled... more

Living Well on the Spectrum: How to Use Your Strengths to Meet the Challenges of…

Recommended Reading
Navigating the "neurotypical" world with an Asperger/Autism profile can be extremely stressful. But by understanding the specific ways your brain works differently--and how to tap into your personal strengths--you can greatly enhance your well-being. In this wise and practical book, experienced... more

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s

Recommended Reading
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had... more

Parallel Play

Recommended Reading
In 1997, Tim Page won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work as the chief classical music critic of The Washington Post, work that the Pulitzer board called “lucid and illuminating.” Three years later, at the age of 45, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome–a form of autism... more

Asperger’s From the Inside-Out

Recommended Reading
Michael John Carley was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at thirty-six-when his young son received the same diagnosis. This fascinating book reveals his personal experience with the confusion associated with this condition-and offers insights into living an independent and productive life. Former... more

Marcelo in the Real World (fiction)

Recommended Reading
Marcelo Sandoval is a high-functioning, extremely self-aware teenager with Asperger's syndrome. He has an empathetic mother and a father, Arturo, who appears to be less empathetic as he pushes Marcelo to live in the "real world." The form the real world takes is a summer job in the mailroom at... more

Asperger’s Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide: A Neurotypical’s Secrets

Recommended Reading
The workplace can be a difficult environment for people with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and this often impedes their ability to make use of particular skills and sustain meaningful and fulfilling employment.This is the definitive guide to surviving and thriving in the workplace for people with... more

The Complete Guide to Getting a Job for People with Asperger Syndrome: Find the Right…

Recommended Reading
Finding a job is a confusing and anxiety-provoking process for many individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. This practical “how-to” guide describes exactly what it takes to get hired in the neurotypical workplace. Every aspect of finding employment is covered, from defining strengths and... more

Developing Talents and Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism

Recommended Reading
The authors take an in-depth look at entrepreneurship. Using real-life examples, they point out that many of the unique characteristics of individuals on the autism spectrum that lend themselves well to entrepreneurial ventures. The book explores many unnoticed aspects of Vocational Rehabilitation... more

How to Find Work that Works for People with Asperger Syndrome

Recommended Reading
The Ultimate Guide for Getting People with Asperger Syndrome into the Workplace (and keeping them there!) Hawkins guides readers through the process of gaining employment, from building a supportive team, addressing workplace challenges, to securing an appropriate post. The book includes practical... more

Asperger’s on the Job: Must-Have Advice for People with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism and…

Recommended Reading
Up to 85% of the Asperger's population are without full-time employment, though many have above-average intelligence.Rudy Simone, an adult with Asperger's Syndrome and an accomplished author, consultant, and musician, created this insightful resource to help employers, educators, and therapists... more

Asperger Profiles: Employment

Article
Graduating from high school and transitioning to the world of work is an extremely important and exciting milestone. However, for many young adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS), employment can present some unique challenges. Despite the vastly increasing numbers of individuals being diagnosed with AS, adult services for this population are... more

Asperger Profiles: Environmental Influences

Article
There is some suggestion that environmental factors play a part in influencing certain characteristics of Asperger profiles, or may even affect the expression of genes. The emerging field of epigenetics, the study of the ways in which physiology can be shaped by external factors, might shed more light on this topic moving forward. We do know that... more

On the Transition to Adulthood

Article
As I look back on my teenage years and early twenties, some themes emerge in my transition to adulthood. I gradually took on more and more responsibility for my own welfare. Because it was gradual, I never felt overwhelmed. I was also able to get advice from others to help me at various points. This advice helped me immensely. Unfortunately, there... more

Seek Alternative Routes: AS at 75

Article
In the year 2002, when I was seventy-one years old, I read a book review in the Times Literary Supplement (London). The author of the biography under review speculated that his subject might have suffered from Asperger’s. I recognized that the symptoms enumerated also applied to me. After further research, it seemed intuitively obvious to me... more

Asperger Profiles: Understanding Strengths and Challenges

Article
When parenting, teaching, befriending, treating, working alongside, or supervising someone with an Asperger profile:Consider both the person’s challenges and his or her strengths. Balance acceptance with teaching necessary skills. Strengths-based interventions foster hope, inspiration, and energy. People with Asperger profiles... more

Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook

Recommended Reading
This practical manual will enable people diagnosed with AS and high functioning autism to deepen their understanding and appreciate their value as working individuals. Through step-by-step self assessment, the reader is encouraged to engage actively in a self paced exploration of their employment... more

Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety: A Guide to Successful Stress Management

Recommended Reading
Many people suffer from feelings of stress and anxiety in their everyday lives. For people with Asperger Syndrome (AS), this stress can be particularly difficult to manage. On a daily basis people with AS must fit into a world that seems totally foreign to them and this can increase feelings of... more

Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum

Recommended Reading
Edited by Stephen Shore, Ask and Tell aims to help autistic people effectively self-advocate in their pursuit of independent, productive, and fulfilling lives. Ask and Tell is unique by being the first book to speak to the twin issues of self-advocacy and disclosure for people on the... more

Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome

Recommended Reading
Girls with Asperger/Autism profiles are less frequently diagnosed than boys, and even once symptoms have been recognized, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females of any age can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges, and loneliness. This is a... more

Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to…

Recommended Reading
At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains... more

Who’s on Your Team?

Article
Many children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) are fortunate enough to have a team of people to support and work with them. In addition to parents, the team can include any number of professionals who think about, focus on, and implement recommendations to address the specific needs that arise as a result of AS. Although some people on the team may... more

Avoiding Misunderstandings in the Neurotypical Workplace

Article
When a person with Asperger Syndrome (AS) becomes an employee in a neurotypical (NT) workplace, things do not always go smoothly. The employee with AS may not be aware of the unwritten social rules or expected behaviors for the workplace, and may behave in ways that surprise or dismay his or her neurotypical supervisor or co-workers. Sensory and... more

Should You Disclose Asperger Syndrome to Your Employer?

Article
Coaching clients frequently ask me whether they should disclose their disability to an employer. My answer is, “It depends.” The best approach is to develop a personalized plan based on the many factors that affect employment outcomes. These factors include an individual’s job skills, primary challenges, employment history and... more

Disability Aspects of Asperger Syndrome

Article
This article is a general review of the pertinence of social security disability benefits to impairments presenting limitations associated with Asperger Syndrome. The author, an administrative law judge for the office of hearings and appeals of the social security administration, submits this article in his private capacity, without official... more

Employment & Social Security Benefits for Adults with Asperger Profiles

Article
Since most children with Asperger profiles appear to require some interventions, supports, or modifications to enable them to succeed in school, it seems reasonable to assume that many adults with Asperger profiles will require at least some supports or special conditions in the workplace. One of the most common concerns adults report to AANE is... more