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How to Assess Strengths and Weaknesses for Asperger’s Occupations
People with Asperger’s generally have certain strengths and weaknesses that should be considered when searching for employment. Their positive characteristics include the following:
- Find it easy to spot errors
- Many have good technical skills and understanding
- Clear ideas about what is right and wrong, and very honest
- Logical thought patterns
- Work best within routines
Negative characteristics of an Asperger’s person may include:
- Poor short term memory skills
- Lack of teamwork
- Inability to cope with changes to routine
- Weak communication skills
- Find it hard to accept criticism
These strengths and weaknesses should be considered when looking at career choices.
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Type of Occupations that Suit a Person with Asperger’s
Even when hampered by weaknesses, there are still a large number of suitable Asperger’s occupations for people of all ages. Here is a brief list of jobs that may be appealing:
- Technical jobs and trades often work well with Asperger’s people as they have minds that understand the concepts behind mechanics, engineering or electrical work.
- Computers are another area where many people with Asperger’s excel.
- Men may enjoy building maintenance and both sexes might enjoy working with animals or as a journalist or photographer.
- Accounting work is a possibility
- Stores and filing jobs are suited to Asperger’s people as they will remember where everything is and be able to keep track of stock as it comes and goes
- Those with poor verbal skills may enjoy working in a library and sorting books
- Freelance work in many fields is an option but the person may need supervision to keep them focused.
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How an Asperger’s Person can be a Success at Work
Because of the limitations imposed by Asperger’s syndrome, people with the condition often find it more difficult to find and keep a job than a neurotypical person with the same qualifications. There are a number of things that can be done to overcome these issues and ensure the Asperger’s person has a fair chance in the work place:
- When training a person with Asperger’s it is often better for them to work with one person as opposed to sitting in a classroom type setting. This can be requested if circumstances will allow.
- Many Asperger’s people prefer to work alone and providing them with a private work space can bring out the best in them.
- If the Asperger’s person is looking for a first job or deciding on a career, practical work experience can be invaluable. By spending a day or two in various offices or workshops, they can gain an understanding of what the job requires and see if the working conditions would suit them.
- A person with Asperger’s often has a special interest and if this can be incorporated into an occupation, they will normally be brilliant at what they do.
- Jobs with routine are often best.
It is possible for a person with Asperger’s to find employment and be happy with what they are doing. There are dozens of suitable Asperger’s occupations and if a person is matched to the right job, they can be faithful productive workers.
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The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007