Making a portfolio of your work
Choosing the Right Job for People with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome
It is important that high functioning autistics and Asperger's syndrome people pick a college major in an area where they can get jobs. Computer science is a good choice because it is very likely that many of the best programmers have either Asperger's syndrome or some of its traits. Other good majors are: accounting, engineering, library science, and art with an emphasis on commercial art and drafting. Majors in history, political science, business, English or pure math should be avoided.
Some individuals while they are still in high school should be encouraged to take courses at a local college in drafting, computer programming or commercial art. This will help keep them motivated. A person with Asperger's syndrome or autism has to compensate for poor social skills by making themselves so good in a specialized field that people will be willing to "buy" their skill even though social skills are poor. Learn a few social survival skills, but you will make friends at work by sharing your shared interest with the other people who work in your specialty.
Bad Jobs for People with High Functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome: Jobs that require high demands on short-term working memory
Cashier -- making change quickly puts too much demand on short-term working memory
Short order cook -- Have to keep track of many orders and cook many different things at the same time
Waitress -- Especially difficult if have to keep track of many different tables
Casino dealer -- Too many things to keep track of
Taxi dispatcher -- Too many things to keep track of
Taking oral dictation -- Difficult due to auditory processing problems
Airline ticket agent -- Deal with angry people when flights are cancelled
Future market trader -- Totally impossible
Air traffic controller -- Information overload and stress
Receptionist and telephone operator -- Would have problems when the switch board got busy
Good Jobs for Visual Thinkers
Computer programming -- Wide-open field with many jobs available especially in industrial automation, software design, business computers, communications and network systems
Drafting -- Engineering drawings and computer aided drafting. This job can offer many opportunities. Drafting is an excellent portal of entry for many interesting technical jobs. I know people who started out at a company doing drafting and then moved into designing and laying out entire factories. To become really skilled at drafting, one needs to learn how to draw by hand first. I have observed that most of the people who draw beautiful drawings on a computer learned to draw by hand first. People who never learn to draw by hand first tend to leave important details out of their drawings.
Commercial art -- Advertising and magazine layout can be done as freelance work
Photography -- Still and video, TV cameraman can be done as freelance work
Equipment designing -- Many industries, often a person starts as a draftsman and then moves into designing factory equipment
Animal trainer or veterinary technician -- Dog obedience trainer, behavior problem consultant
Automobile mechanic -- Can visualize how the entire car works
Computer-troubleshooter and repair -- Can visualize problems in computers and networks
Small appliance and lawnmower repair -- Can make a nice local business
Handcrafts of many different types such as wood carving, jewelry making, ceramics, etc.
Laboratory technician -- Who modifies and builds specialized lab equipment
Web page design -- Find a good niche market can be done as freelance work
Building trades -- Carpenter or welder. These jobs make good use of visual skills but some people will not be able to do them well due to motor and coordination problems.
Video game designer -- Stay out of this field. Jobs are scarce and the field is overcrowded. There are many more jobs in industrial, communications business and software design computer programming. Another bad thing about this job is exposure to violent images.
Computer animation -- Visual thinkers would be very good at this field, but there is more competition in this field than in business or industrial computer programming. Businesses are recruiting immigrants from overseas because there is a shortage of good programmers in business and industrial fields.
Building maintenance -- Fixes broken pipes, windows and other things in an apartment complex, hotel or office building
Factory maintenance -- Repairs and fixes factory equipment
Good Jobs for Non-Visual Thinkers: Those who are good at math, music or facts
Accounting -- Get very good in a specialized field such as income taxes
Library science -- reference librarian. Help people find information in the library or on the Internet.
Computer programming -- Less visual types can be done as freelance work
Engineering -- Electrical, electronic and chemical engineering
Journalist -- Very accurate facts, can be done as freelance
Copy editor -- Corrects manuscripts. Many people freelance for larger publishers
Taxi driver -- Knows where every street is
Inventory control -- Keeps track of merchandise stocked in a store
Tuning pianos and other musical instruments, can be done as freelance work
Laboratory technician -- Running laboratory equipment
Bank Teller -- Very accurate money counting, much less demand on short-term working memory than a busy cashier who mostly makes change quickly
Clerk and filing jobs -- knows where every file is
Telemarketing -- Get to repeat the same thing over and over, selling on the telephone. Noisy environment may be a problem. Telephone sales avoids many social problems.
Statistician -- Work in many different fields such as research, census bureau, industrial quality control, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, etc.
Physicist or mathematician -- There are very few jobs in these fields. Only the very brilliant can get and keep jobs. Jobs are much more plentiful in computer programming and accounting.
Jobs for Nonverbal People with Autism or People with Poor Verbal Skills
Reshelving library books -- Can memorize the entire numbering system and shelf locations
Factory assembly work -- Especially if the environment is quiet
Copy shop -- Running photocopies. Printing jobs should be lined up by somebody else
Janitor jobs -- Cleaning floors, toilets, windows and offices
Restocking shelves -- In many types of stores
Recycling plant -- Sorting jobs
Warehouse -- Loading trucks, stacking boxes
Lawn and garden work -- Mowing lawns and landscaping work
Data entry -- If the person has fine motor problems, this would be a bad job
Fast food restaurant -- Cleaning and cooking jobs with little demand on short-term memory
Plant care -- Water plants in a large office building
Worst Jobs for Autistic Adults and Aspergers –
People with Aspergers / Autism may be able to earn a living but there are jobs that aren’t the best fit for them.
Salespersons are expected to be eloquent, persuasive and knowledgeable about their products. They are required to memorize a lot of information including product specifications, prices, and so on. Salespersons are also expected to be very interactive, articulate and very expressive. All these boxes cannot be ticked by Autistic adults.
For one, Autistic adults are largely known for non-verbal communication and social isolation which makes it difficult for them to communicate eloquently or even be interactive with customers.
Also, they would have difficulties memorizing product specifications and fluctuating prices due to their low cognitive abilities especially when it comes to short-term memory. This is why salesperson is one of the worst jobs for Autistic adults or Aspergers.
Artisans undertake a lot of physically demanding tasks and activities. Mechanics have to carry, move and fix heavy spare parts. Masons have to carry and arrange heavy building materials like blocks, cement, gravel, stones, etc. Carpenters have to carry and assemble heavy furniture fixtures and fittings. Artisans do the dirtiest works in the most uncomfortable places and under extreme working conditions.
Autistic adults / Aspergers suffer from muscle discomforts such as the inability to combine muscle movements, poor coordination and so on. As such, medically, it is not advisable for people with Autism or Aspergers to undertake physically demanding jobs, hence, why artisan is one of the worst jobs for Autistic adults / Aspergers.
3. Sportsman / Fitness Coach
Sportsmen & Fitness Coach undergo rigorous training regimens, strict diet schedules, exhaustive physical activities, nerve-racking pressure to perform well, coupled with the regular stress of daily living.
There are different sports with varying strenuous demands. Almost every sports profession including weight lifting, American football, rugby, swimming, track and field, football, basketball, volleyball and many more are too tedious and stressful for Autistic people.
People with Autism / Aspergers suffer from poor coordination and fidgeting which would make it hard for them to survive in any sports profession. They are also known to be sensitive to sound and very irritable. As such, a profession with so much noise and crowd like sportsmen is one of the worst jobs for Aspergers.
The job of a receptionist requires a lot of soft skills, something many people with Autism / Aspergers do not have. The requisite soft skills to be a receptionist include organizational skills, interpersonal skills, multi-tasking skills, confidence, and much more. A receptionist must be interactive, jovial, accommodating and friendly.
They also work in fast-paced environments and endure the stress of dealing with the traffic of clients and customers. Such stress can trigger people with Aspergers / Autism to exhibit anger, anxiety or apprehension.
Likewise, the ability of adults with Autism to self-isolate and exhibit restricted behavior makes receptionist one of the worst jobs for Autistic adults.
5.Healthcare Worker doctor measuring blood pressure of a patient
Healthcare workers are one of the professionals working under the most strenuous conditions. Be it orthopedics, nurses, doctors, or surgeons, the stress of the job can be very exhaustive.