What if you can’t find a job, a diagnosis, or understanding?
September 21, 2013 06:07:15
Posted By Rudy Simone
“Three times this week I’ve received letters which recount an all too familiar tale: “I can’t get a job that I can tolerate; my therapist doesn’t believe I have aspergers; my family wants me to be normal.” Far too often we expect people to empathize and understand the difficulties we face. They see us as wanting pity and makes them say ‘just get on with it’.
I naively hoped my books were going to sweep through the world spreading the words, “we’re not stupid and arrogant, we’re brilliant but have different sensory and social needs and experiences than you. Let’s all work together, there’s room for us all.”
Instead the world is getting noisier and dumber, fast food, Genius Bars (misnomer, virtually every aspie’s nightmare) and reality shows that judge people on their ability to be confident and extroverted—highly overrated qualities.
That’s my rant for the day. Now what to do?
- You’re going to have to be strong, unless you have a fantastic support network helping you get what you need.
- If you’re quite sure that you have aspergers and no one thinks you do, ask yourself if you need that validation. It’s getting harder now that the DSM took Aspergers out of the (otherwise good) criteria, and dogmatic physicians are actually stripping people of their diagnoses. How important is it? You can still follow the advice in all the books. You can keep a sensory toolkit with you wherever you go, you can follow a gluten free diet or whatever advice works for you.
- You can find your AS community online….there’s millions of us now. Millions. I have several thousand FB fans and friends through all of my pages, and I’d say probably 90% are on the autism spectrum. We communicate extremely well through the written word. I enjoy playing ‘spot the non-autistic’ on my pages because they usually comment in shorter, more flippant comments unless they are writers or word geeks. (Not an insult, it’s an observation.)
- You’re going to need a written short and long-term game plan for making money. Unless you have inherited yours, or are intending to live off of edible weeds in the woods somewhere, money is absolutely necessary. Your job is to find a way to make it that doesn’t drive you nuts. From landscaper, to dog walker, artist, or academic, only you know what will be right for you, though it might take a while to find it. Don’t feel bad either if you change your plans now and then, this is a fluid exercise.
Meantime, do listen to some of the criticisms; Maybe you are in need of humility, maybe you do need to finish what you start. Maybe you do need to be more polite when people talk about things you’re not interested in. We aspies like to create our own little universes to live in. Nothing wrong with that, as long as we occasionally roll out the welcome mat as opposed to barricading the door….. read more on Rudy’s page!