Employment for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Stories and Strategies

Employment for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Stories and Strategies

Employment for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Stories and Strategies

Employment for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Stories and Strategies

Synopsis

"Most people with Non-Verbal Learning Disorder (NLD) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) are underemployed. This book sets out to change this. With practical and technical advice on everything from job hunting to interview techniques, from 'fitting in' in the workplace to whether or not to disclose a diagnosis, this book guides people with NLD or AS successfully through the employment field. There is also information for employers, agencies and careers counsellors on AS and NLD as 'invisible' disabilities, including an analysis of the typical strengths of somebody with NLD or AS, and how to use these positively in the workplace. Practical information and lists of career resources are supported by numerous case studies to inspire and advise. An essential resource for people with NLD or AS seeking or in employment and their existing or potential employers."

Excerpt

As individuals with Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NLD) or Asperger Syndrome (AS), we are different, but we try to conform to the mold. Yet no matter how hard we work, it’s not good enough for the neurotypical (NT) world. the agencies that are supposed to serve the disabled can’t assist us because we don’t fit in with their usual population.

Career planning books have not been written with our difficulties in mind. the NLD/AS individual is a special case because often he/she is very intelligent, has high verbal abilities, and tends to have excellent writing skills. On the other hand, our challenges in the social, visual-spatial, organizational, and motor coordination areas cause us to stick out in the workplace.

The British newspaper, The Observer, in the articles “Adult victims of autism are left on jobs scrapheap” (Beaumont 2001) and “Signal failure” (Carlowe 2001), reports that nine out of ten Asperger adults are unable to hold a job and earn a living. Jerry Newport, who has founded several support groups for adults with asd over the last ten years, thinks it’s more accurate to say that 90 percent of the as population is underemployed. “Of the couple of hundred as people I have met, at least half have jobs, but very few are employed at the level you would expect if you knew their education,” he said. Despite a university degree in mathematics, he has spent most of his life as a taxi driver and courier, but finally found work in accounting and tax consulting.

It is appalling that someone who is intelligent, educated, honest, and hard working is unemployed. To extend that figure to 90 percent of a given population shows something wrong with the system.

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