Monday, November 28, 2011

Autism and the Workforce

The criteria for an autism diagnosis has been updated and refined during the past twenty years or so.  As a result of this, more people are find themselves included in the autism spectrum, even adults who have already lived most of their lives.

Today, in 2011, we have a new generation of individuals on the spectrum who are entering adulthood with full awareness of their condition.  In this tough economy, many companies are forced to make do with less, pushing the abilities of their workers.  I feel this all the time at my retail job.  I have stated previously that we who have autism can literally change the world under the right conditions.  Those on the spectrum need to find the right job that makes the best use of their abilities.  By doing so, we can each do our small part to change the world.

Everyone has natural abilities and talents.  No person is superior or inferior to another, because all of us, both on and off the spectrum, have different gifts. For example, I am good with words and possess self-understanding of my life on the spectrum.  Through these blogs, and eventually books, I will move forward to make optimum use of my natural abilities.  Just because I am a writer who has tasted a little success, it does not make me better or worse than an individual with Asperger's Syndrome who knows so much about photography that he finds classes on the subject boring.  We are each making use of our unique skills and interests.

Writing about this brings the following quote to mind: "do not judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree."  Those with autism possess outstanding skills in certain areas, but outside of those areas of interest, those with autism continue to have difficulty focusing and remaining on task.  Do not judge someone with autism by an ability that they do not possess.  This is not relevant for just autism.  We are all gifted in different ways.  In this life, we have enough time to make use of those gifts we are each granted.

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