by Nikki Schwartz
Last week, I shared a great video of Temple Grandin describing What Autism Is Like. She also talked about what she thought were the best jobs for autistic people. I came across this incredible quote from Temple that same day:
If you got rid of all the autistic genetics, you'd have no future generation for the Silicon Valley.
Many people with Asperger's or Autism have unique strengths, that most of us don't have. These might include astounding attention to detail, or the interest and ability to focus intently on a specific topic or project.
So, what jobs are best suited for those with Asperger's and Autism?
First ask, "What's Your Big Interest?"
Picking jobs that have the right fit
What types of jobs are best for Autistic People?
The first is careers that are typically poorly suited for Autistics and require a great deal of multitasking, stress the use of short-term memory and/or have high expectations for social interaction. These are jobs like waiting tables, cashiers, and air traffic controllers.
The second is careers for those who think and learn visually. Drafting, computer programming or engineering, designing, and animation, all reward those who are "visual thinkers", don't mind solitary, mundane, and reptitive tasks.
The third group is for those who excel at math, facts or music, but are not necessarily visual thinkers. Accounting, copy editor, and inventory control, for example, reward those good at repetitive tasks that involve numbers, rules, and specifics.
The last group is for non-verbal/low verbal people with Autism. These tasks do not necessarily require large amounts of knowledge, but rather the ability to engage in tasks in quiet environments with a specific skill set. Job choices here largely depend on an individuals capabilities and sensory needs. Some examples given by Temple were data entry and library reshelving positions.
What about getting the job?
Above all, make sure that the jobs you apply and interview for align well with your Big Interest, your sensory needs, and your strengths.
Do you have any suggestions for those with Autism and Asperger's who are job seeking? Would love to see them in the comments section.
Nikki Schwartz is a Counselor Resident at Spectrum Psychological and focuses on using neurofeedback, play, and talk therapies to provide practical, effective counseling to families and clients. You can find her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, and Google+.
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