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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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office of public instruction
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
Montana Autism Education Project
  • Training for schools and others
  • Consultations for schools
  • Autism Newsletter
  • Autism Blog
secondary transition
Secondary Transition
  • Thing you do
  • Thing you do
  • Thing you do
  • Secondary Transition blog
asperger s disorder
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 disorder1
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 disorder2
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
How does Asperger’s affect employment?

There is little quality research.

What follows are suggestions and considerations.

how does asperger s affect employment1
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 employment2
How does Asperger’s affect employment?

Social Skills Difficulties:

  • “I *know* best.”
  • Reading body language
  • Letting others speak completely
how does asperger s affect employment3
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 employment4
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 employment5
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 employment6
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 employment7
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 employment8
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 employment9
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 employment10
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 employment11
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 employment12
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 employment13
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 employment14
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 employment15
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 employment16
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 employment17
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 employment18
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 employment19
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
Resources

Asperger Job Assessment Questionnaire

Asperger’s On The Job – Rudy Simone

MAEP blog – Transition

OPI Secondary Transition blog