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Successful Employment for People with Asperger’s Syndrome. Office of Public Instruction. Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator Montana Autism Education Project ddoty@ mt.gov 459-5303 Marla Swanby Secondary Transition Specialist and Instructional Coordinator mswanby@mt.gov 444-0044.

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Successful Employment for People with Asperger’s Syndrome

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Successful Employment for People with Asperger’s Syndrome


Office of Public Instruction

Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator

Montana Autism Education Project

ddoty@mt.gov

459-5303

Marla Swanby

Secondary Transition Specialist and Instructional Coordinator

mswanby@mt.gov

444-0044


Montana Autism Education Project

  • Training for schools and others

  • Consultations for schools

  • Autism Newsletter

  • Autism Blog


Secondary Transition

  • Thing you do

  • Thing you do

  • Thing you do

  • Secondary Transition blog


Marla starts here


Five Autism Spectrum Disorders


Asperger’s Disorder

People with Asperger’s:

  • Have normal or above-normal intelligence;

  • Have good language skills;

  • May have difficulty with communication:

    • “Robotic” speech or loud talking

    • Focus on specific topics

    • Difficulty with abstract concepts – idioms.


Asperger’s Disorder

People with Asperger’s:

  • May seem socially awkward;

  • May have difficulty with rules that don’t “make sense,”;

  • May have difficulty with other people“breaking” rules – why did that person get to take a two-hour lunch?


Asperger’s Disorder

People with Asperger’s:

  • May make limited eye contact;

  • May not understand non-verbal social cues (lack of interest by others, body language, etc.)


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

There is little quality research.

What follows are suggestions and considerations.


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Interviewing:

  • May need practice

  • Need to know how to answer “dumb” questions

  • May need to know to not, “over-sell” skills

  • Don’t speak poorly of past experiences


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Social Skills Difficulties:

  • “I *know* best.”

  • Reading body language

  • Letting others speak completely


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

May not be a good fit for a person with Asperger’s to be in front-line, disgruntled customer service.

But . . .


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

People with ASD can be GREAT at customer support in jobs with:

  • Technical information – computers, Home Depot, Radio Shack.

  • Enthusiasts – bicycle shops, jewelry, fabric stores.


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

To self-disclose or not self-disclose?

  • Coworkers who are informed are more likely to be understanding and accepting of differences.

  • “Asperger’s! Like that (character) on that (tv show or movie.)


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Social Skills:

May Need to teach the “unspoken rules”

  • Office politics/gossip

  • How to dress/not dress

  • Being bullied

  • Being taken advantage of

  • Who not to complain to

  • Break-time behavior


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Social Skills:

May Need to teach the “unspoken rules”

  • Inappropriate comments of actions

  • Repetitive behaviors

  • Who to ask for help


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

  • Social Skills:

    • Need to provide scheduled and “on-demand” opportunity and person(s) from whom to get feedback on social performance.

    • Un-addressed problems can explode result in a blow-upinappropriate expression of anger.


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

  • Social Skills may need to be taught.

  • Example: Why say, “Hello” to co-workers every day or when passing by?


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

  • Social Stories by Carol Grey

    A scripted story for dealing with a specific problem which includes appropriate behavior(s).


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

  • Social Story –

  • How to Accept Feedback:

    • My boss can tell me what to do.

    • Sometimes my boss tells me I have done a good job.

    • Sometimes my boss tells me I have made a mistake.

    • I feel frustrated when I make mistakes.

    • I am calm and respectful, to keep my job.


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Use concrete terms instead of idioms. For example say:

  • “Do XYZ.” rather than, “Finish it up.”

  • “That idea may not work because . . . “ rather than, “That dog won’t hunt.”

  • “That person may not be able to do what they promise.” rather than “All hat and no cattle.”


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Coworkers may use subtle, established physical or verbal cues for:

  • “You are speaking loudly.”

  • “Be aware of your personal distance.”

  • “The other person has lost interest.”

  • “Not now for this discussion.”


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Sensory Issues:

  • Light – Fluorescent hum/color

  • Sound – Noisy or sudden noises

  • Touch – Polyester uniforms

  • Smell – Strong or specific odors

  • Environment – Wet, spiders


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Time Management:

  • Obsessing over details

  • Not watching how much time spent on a single task

  • Need to know when to move to the next task

  • Schedules/timers can be helpful


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Time Management:

  • May need organizational system

  • May need prompts – electronic apps

  • Visual Supports – schedules/rules

  • Written schedules with timelines

    Be wary of requiring multi-tasking.


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Difficulty with change:

  • Priorities – “Now THIS is #1.”

  • Schedules – Holidays, new schedule

  • Routines/other – New TPS report procedure

  • Co-workers – leaving, new ones


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Difficulty with change – suggestions:

  • Tell as soon as possible, or . . .

  • Don’t tell until necessary (perserveration/fear)

  • Prepare –

    • Written description of change/Social Story

    • Practice new procedures


How does Asperger’s affect employment?

People with Asperger’s may have difficulty learning tasks initially.

  • Read it.

  • See it.

  • Do it.

  • Say it. (maybe)

  • Teach it.

    (Consider video-modeling)


Resources

Asperger Job Assessment Questionnaire

Asperger’s On The Job – Rudy Simone

MAEP blog – Transition

OPI Secondary Transition blog


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