Asperger’s Syndrome and Tweaking the Course in the Search for Employment

compass

Last month was the hottest April on record. These next few days have been cooler, more like average temps should be. But you can feel the promise of summer and the excitement of the changes to come as the end of the school year and graduation for many draws near. The incremental changes that MJ is experiencing are full of possibility as well. She’s starting to feel minor changes in her body from the hormones and she’s decided to make a few tweaks to her job search, changes that we hope will lead her to a career that will be a better match for someone with the unique set of challenges of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.

MJ is a talented graphic artist and up until a couple of years ago, she was pursuing an associates degree in Communication Design. After the last two internships and ongoing freelance work as a designer, its clear to her that to find success in graphic design requires a level of communication and social skill difficult to reach for an aspie. But MJ is an inter-disciplined creative problem solver. I’ve maintained that the perfect job for her will combine her skills in design and technology. On the journey to the perfect job, we are thinking that at this point, she might find more success and fulfillment by pursuing a technical job. So after meeting with the Pathways team to discuss the possibilities, they’ve agreed to focus their search on jobs like fixing or building computers, software testing, or something else where she might gain experience in IT.

Continue reading

She’s Driving!

MJ drove the half hour to and from her internship by herself for the first time this week! Woo-hoo! I’m doing the happy dance! I am so proud of her.

In the last 4 weeks since the present internship began, I had been riding with her, sometimes driving her there and letting her drive home. A few times she drove both ways but still wanted me in the car. She’s had her license for a long time but until now wasn’t comfortable driving anywhere alone.

Continue reading

Needles in a Haystack

haystacks

To say that most people with Asperger’s have poor organizational skills might not be completely accurate. They just follow a different logic. Last week while helping MJ clear the floor in her bedroom, she freaked out because I moved a few things from the floor to the box of stuff she’d gathered together. To me, it followed logically that these miscellaneous items belonged in the same place. At least they were better off in a box than scattered on the floor. But to her, it was as if I were putting needles in a haystack.

Continue reading