The difficulties and challenges of finding employment in

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Transcript The difficulties and challenges of finding employment in

For adults with Asperger Syndrome it’s
hard for you to find employment and keep
a job, and . . .
You often feel like ...
 You are from another planet
 You don’t know the rules
 You are misunderstood
 Your strengths and abilities
are over looked
 Like Mork, a Neurodivergent adult has many challenges in
finding and keeping employment.
 His reports to intergalactic counselor, Orson, reveal that
Mork is….
 Seldom understood
 Not accepted for his eccentricity
 Frequently alienated in the workplace
 Excluded from the world around him
Mork came to
Earth from Ork
“Coming from Ork I
just feel like I am
from another planet
and understanding
people is just a
constant challenge.”
means ‘thinking and
acting differently’
Atypical neurological
development is a normal
human difference that is
to be recognized and
respected as any other
human variation
“Neurodiversity may be every
bit as crucial for the human
race as biodiversity is for life
in general. Who can say what
form of wiring will prove best
at any given moment?”
Harvey Blume,
New York Times,
September 30, 1998
Adults with Asperger Syndrome
... look like ordinary people,
However their inability to understand the visual queues,
body language and unwritten rules of social interaction
makes employability difficult
“Help Wanted” Services
What is available
What is required
 Employment Agencies don’t
 Asperger Syndrome is a
support people with
Asperger Syndrome
 Disability Employment
Agencies provide generic
support for a person with a
stand alone disability
 Disability Employment
Agencies don’t offer the
necessary specialised
support for adults on the
Autistic Spectrum
Challenges to finding employment?
People with Asperger Syndrome are at a serious
disadvantage in a job interview, because:
 Very few employment agencies provide interview support
 They are judged according to their social skills
 They are not able to read body language and understand
important visual cues
 Anxiety (see all the above)
I would like a chance but I feel
nervous at job interview as I
don’t know what I am
supposed to know and say,
read body language and
whether I will be given a
chance to demonstrate my
skills, abilities and feel judged
at face value!
Hurdles for Adults with Asperger
Syndrome at work
 A person may focus too much on individual details and
respond better to routine. This makes it difficult to adapt
to change, accomplish multi tasking duties and perceive
the host organisation’s organisations big picture
 Without efficacious communication and support
strategies, a person can lose a sense of direction and
become confused by hierarchical structure
Will I be able to get over this difficult hurdle !?!
For Adults within employment it is
difficult to obtain career development
 Lacking social skills they can be placed
into routine, base grade, positions
 Opportunity to demonstrate and
develop their more valuable skills is
rarely presented
 Most adults are overlooked for
 Limited on the job support
I put the
effort in
but I never
seem to get
Thinking and
Just thinking and
acting differently
makes it hard for an
adult with Asperger
Syndrome to find
tolerance and
support within a
work environment
Everyday stumbling blocks at work
 An adult with Asperger Syndrome may appear as odd or
different and feel alienated from other employees, and
co-workers around them
 An adult with Asperger Syndrome may not know what
clothes are appropriate for certain jobs
 The following link highlights employment issues
Bullying and Exploitation
 Bullying and exploitation is a serious a problem during the
lifetime of a person with Asperger Syndrome
 Most adults with Asperger Syndrome have suffered low
self esteem as a result of bullying and/or exploitation
 In the workplace, deliberate bullying, and thoughtless
separatist behaviour can seriously raise anxiety levels and
affect job performance
 Sadly dismissal or resignation is common in workplaces
where separatist behaviours remain unchecked
...although a
persons self esteem
and outcomes will
improve given
suitable work...
Communication Support
Once a person with Asperger Syndrome has been
employed an Employment Consultant should build
and maintain a working relationship between the
person with Asperger Syndrome, the Manager &
Supervisors, and themselves
The key is
knowing to tell
and how to sell!
support is ongoing.
First established
prior to start date
and progressed
throughout work
Employment Consultants needed
to liaise with and tell
Person with Asperger
 Responsibility in the workplace
 Tea breaks, lunch room and
start and finish times
 Important procedures within
 Whom to see should there be
any issues or concerns
 The persons strengths and
 Information and education
mediums other staff members
require to facilitate positive
 Critical points to communicate
 Persons awareness
 Persons requirements
Manager and Supervisory roles
• Make
meetings with
Employee and
• Follow up any
issues that
may emerge
Clarify and
address any
• Collegial
directives for:
• Clarity
• Support
• Scope likely
promotion of
Roles of Managers and Supervisors
within Employment
Other staff
 Establish clear liaison guidelines
between all three parties
 Indicate that a person with
Asperger Syndrome needs clear
direction within workplace
 Ensure any concerns among
employees are clarified
 Should there be any issues within
the work environment i.e. person
with Asperger Syndrome not being
understood by other co-workers
or staff members.
Employee with Asperger
Syndrome and Consultant
 Establish clear liaison
guidelines between all three
 Ensure any issues regarding the
person with Asperger
Syndrome are addressed, and
where necessary and possible,
 Discuss ways of improving
performance and opportunities
of staff development and
workplace performance if
Comepass Success
Garry, who has Asperger’s
Syndrome, was well suited
to take on a shelving role
with his high functioning
ability and natural affinity
with numbers - and UQ
Library was pleased to have
Welcome to the Library,
ISSUE 656, 22/12/2010 , p5
Full article
Remarkable Minds
Just Waiting for
Extraordinary memory … but the
only work James Russell, who has
high-functioning autism, can find is
filling envelopes and lugging boxes.
Just give me a
chance to
think and
utilize my
The Sydney Morning Herald
March 20th 2010
Employment issues!v=4FwKBLotQRc&feature=related
About Specialist
Specialist People
Foundation want to
create a new paradigm
in which Specialist
People will get a new
opportunity to realise
their potential as active
contributors in the
labour market and in
society in general.
Visit at
On Reflection some important things to
 Adults with Asperger Syndrome make good employees; they are diligent,
conscientious, reliable and pay attention to detail. So should they really be
 Applicants should inform potential employers about their Asperger Syndrome, to
increase awareness and prevent discrimination (see Disability Discrimination Act).
 Should the government improve services and funding to allow for more support in
terms of Disability Employment Agencies and Employment Consultants?
 In terms of employment opportunities, should society be nurturing
adults with Asperger Syndrome, rather than leaving them behind?
 Should adults with Asperger Syndrome who want to work have the
opportunity to have a go!?
 Mork and Mindy excerpt illustrating how not being aware of, or
misreading, social conventions, leads to things going wrong!v=KclJrJYtyVo&feature=related
How to contact Garry Burge
 Garry Burge’s blog on Dr Tony Attwood’s website
 Dr Tony Attwood’s website
 Garry Burge’s You Tube Channel
 Email: Garry Burge, Staff Representative of University of Queensland
Disability Sub Committee, Social Sciences Library
 [email protected]
 Chris Mitchell United Kingdom – Asperger Syndrome Employment
“Greetings from
planet Ork”