Monday, 9 June 2014

Holding A Job and High Functioning Autism

CBC did a piece on how people with high functioning autism can have trouble holding down a job.  An Ottawa organization, Ys Owl Maclure Cooperative Centre, offers help to employers, particularly the federal government, in understanding how to help those with Aspergers and autism.

Suzanne Ford, the worker interviewed for the article, says they generally get called in when the situation is already in crisis.  She'd prefer to do more education and preventative work.

This article underscores how challenging autism can be.  An employee can have fantastic skills but if he or she can't follow along socially, it makes employers and co-workers uncomfortable.  I've often said that I believe society is more accepting of someone with a disability when a) there is a physical indicator which immediately cues them in and b) the disabled person understands social interactions.

As TV and movies love to point out, there is a thin line between being a jerk and being socially awkward.  (Although it annoys me when Aspergers is used as a punch line for someone being insulting or aggressive.  People with Aspergers are more likely to be withdrawn and be misreading other's insults than delivering their own.) 

I'm glad there are supports in place.  Maybe by the time the boys reach maturity, this will be a much more understood phenomenon.

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