Unemployment rate among ASD adults



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MyWorld
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01 May 2011, 2:51 am

Its been said that unemployment rate for those with ASD's is around 80-90%. I think that's a little high. I understand as those with autism who cannot get a job, but what about those with Aspergers and PDD-NOS who are able to get a job? Sorry if I sound so ignorant, but I was wondering why only 10-20% of ASD adults are employed?



Chronos
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01 May 2011, 3:15 am

MyWorld wrote:
Its been said that unemployment rate for those with ASD's is around 80-90%. I think that's a little high. I understand as those with autism who cannot get a job, but what about those with Aspergers and PDD-NOS who are able to get a job? Sorry if I sound so ignorant, but I was wondering why only 10-20% of ASD adults are employed?


Because in reality, most NT's are disturbed by those who are different than they are, or can't perform to their standards or do things their way. They generally don't understand people on the spectrum and tend to assume any short comings are global rather than local and can't be bothered to extend much in the way of patience.

It's actually those a little down the spectrum from HFA/AS who are the most likely to get and hold a job, but these are likely to be menial jobs through organizations that work with disabled adults, and they usually perform the job in groups under direct supervision and those employing them generally extend their patience because the nature of their being is usually severe enough such that in the mind of others they are seen to have a disability worthy of patience and compassion.

Those with HFA/AS usually just come across as odd in a way which makes people uneasy rather than compassionate or understanding.

There is a man around here who polishes metallic architectural features on some historic monuments for a living. I can tell he is clearly on the spectrum. He has an odd cadence to his speech but he's actually quite intelligent and used to be in the electronic repair industry until the shop he worked at closed down.

Unfortunately he's homeless and I speculate the reason for this is, like many on the spectrum, he just can't effectively communicate to people his actual abilities and people are immediately put off by his speech patterns.



AllieKat
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01 May 2011, 4:02 am

The vast, vast majority of people over 25 with AS are undiagnosed because it was literally unheard of in the U.S. until it was officially recognized in 1994 and not commonly diagnosed until around 2000ish.

Therefore, I think that stats are skewed towards those adults who have been diagnosed and I think those who have sought diagnosis are more likely to have done so because of problems they've been having in coping with general adult life including employment. Many adults with milder forms of AS may suspect they have it after reading about it but choose not to seek a diagnosis because they have learned to cope with the NT world, holding down a job, etc.

Therefore, I tend to agree that 80 percent seems a bit high. I have no idea what the true numbers are but for my insights on this, you can view my webpage at http://www.myaspergerslifestory.com/my_ ... rgers.html

My guess is if you count the milder cases that are undiagnosed it could range anywhere from 25 percent up to maybe 70 percent who are chronically underemployed but then again this is just a wild educated guess.

Just my two cents,
Allie Kat



Last edited by AllieKat on 01 May 2011, 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roman
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01 May 2011, 4:02 am

Chronos wrote:

Because in reality, most NT's are disturbed by those who are different than they are, or can't perform to their standards or do things their way. They generally don't understand people on the spectrum and tend to assume any short comings are global rather than local and can't be bothered to extend much in the way of patience.


That is exactly it in my situation. Especially regarding people assuming my short comming is global rather than local.

For example, if someone says me something and I ask a question in a way that comes off "too intense" they assume that I will never listen no matter what they say so I am immovable. Or if they ask me what kinds of interests in physics I have (physics is my specialty) and I go on and on about my ideas, they assume my ideas is all I care about and I am not going to be willing to work on anything else.

As you see from the above two examples, it is not a "failure to perform" but rather a "SIGN that I am GOING to fail to perform". NT-s tend to look at SIGNS. But as an aspie I don't get why they trust these signs so much -- it is almost as silly as subjecting people to mandatory psychoanalysis before giving job. But then again, maybe NT-s are aware that they are EXPECTED to show certain signs so they do. But as an aspie I don't pay attention to signs, I just go from point A to point B. And then in my way to point B someone stops me and says "no you can't go any more because I can just see you are not going to make it".

A lot of it is also a self fulfilling prophecy. Once NT-s think it is useless to collaborate with me, they stop trying. Therefore, I have no choice but to work on my own projects without collaborations. Then my "history" of working on my own projects is used as a confirmation that I "can't" collaborate.



LiendaBalla
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01 May 2011, 8:24 am

Tell an averege NT about any kind of "mental disorder", blindness, or hearing problems, and they will either use you and deny your skill and effort, or keep you out all together. That's how it works in my world. :(



Aspiewordsmith
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01 May 2011, 9:38 am

With people on the spectrum looking for a job can be hard. He or she has to think what he or she can do what his or her strengths are in terms of being able to use his or her Asperger syndrome or other condition on the autism spectrum. If he or she has found something that he or she can do by the usual means going into the Jobcentre, looking in the jobs section of the local newspaper, looking on the internet etc. Then phones up or emails a firm and sends him or her an application form which is filled in and sent back. Most of the forms head for the potential employer's bin. If the person has succeded by this stage he or she will be invited for an interview. That is with the company's personnel officer. They are expecting the person to make the right eye contact check body language etc. Here an aspie would be told we'll let you know and a confirmation of a failed application awaits them about 3 days later. This happened alot to me from 1985-1987. Employers would have preferred to hire a trained monkey than a person on the autistic spectrum. I don't see things changing much. :arrow:



Downtown
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02 May 2011, 12:20 pm

Here are some links and stats about people with Asperger's and jobs.

From Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

"research in 2001 by the u.k.'s national autistic society indicated that only 12% of those with high-functionoing autism or asperger's syndrome had full-time jobs. in contrast, 49% of people with other disabilities, and 81% of people who are not disabled were in employment"



http://www.help4aspergers.com/pb/wp_446 ... 44162.html

Approximately one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. Most have a milder form known as Asperger Syndrome (AS). Although people with AS are usually highly intelligent and gifted it is thought that over 85% are without full-time employment. That is an outrageously high percentage. This book is a resource to help employers accommodate this growing population, and for this growing population to find and keep gainful employment. We will find out what our strengths are and how to use them. We will learn how to manage social and environmental difficulties. “Working” looks into all aspects of employment– because going to work isn’t just about work. It’s about what you wear, what you eat, what your environment looks like, what it feels like, how your boss behaves, how your coworkers treat you. There’s so much more to a job than what the tasks are.
From a lack of fulfillment, sensory issues, ostracizing and bullying by coworkers and bosses, Rudy Simone presents very difficult challenges in a very positive light that will leave everyone enriched, enlightened and ready to work…together.



http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/10/2 ... -meetings/

Eighty percent of adults with Asperger Syndrome do not have full-time work. This not because they can’t do the work. It’s that they can’t manage to be socially acceptable while they get the work done. ‘



FreeSpirit2000
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10 Aug 2013, 5:06 am

What needs to happen is Regional Centers should advocate for ways to find alternative routes for people with ASD to get jobs/work if you ask me. They can suggest things like Web Design, Blogging, Taking Online Surveys, and the "Work At Home" oriented things. Those could be one thing. Another thing is becoming a music producer and working at a music recording studio. That could be another thing. Or working as a transportation professional. Or, working for Fed-Ex, or the US Postal Service. Another cool idea would be writing books and stories could be another idea. Or some stress-free business ideas like maintaining Swimming Pools, landscaping work, skilled trades or opening a Vending Machine operation route. Find ideas which will be realistic and achievable for people with ASD related issues.

Avoid these kinds of jobs: Working in crowded retail stores, working in a crowded auto body shop, anything corporate related (working at a big law firm or CPA firm). Working as an academic can be stressful too as well.

For me, I am interested in studying to become a Recording Technician. Maybe after completing a degree in that, I would love to get a job at a recording studio, or produce my own music. Because when I was young, I used to play a couple of musical instruments and I was really good at playing them, actually. So I would like to bring back some of my old talents back, but do some new things with it, and also do them for a living, as well.



ianorlin
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10 Aug 2013, 11:59 am

I actually think this is bad for society as a whole. I tend to end up thinking about David Ricardo's idea of comparative advantage with differences and work needing to get done have people specailise in what they give up the least total production and the economy becomes more efficient. Like having a brain that works in a different way wouldn't change how people produce different goods.



Simmian7
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11 Aug 2013, 1:08 pm

i was pretty close to becoming a part of that statistic. but after i came back from being on my birthday vacation, i got good news and a new work area! i have been feeling soooooo much better now.


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12 Aug 2013, 9:08 am

Well, I told my GP today that every so called expert seems to think that being employed means you can't have Aspergers and I told him how I know more about Autism that any psychiatrist or psychologist I have ever met. He chuckled and said "yes, you probably do." I AM employed successfully full time but let's not kid ourselves. Like a lot of undiagnosed Aspies I am vastly underemployed and spent years after university working minimum wage jobs where everyone told me I was wasting my talents. I even see a suspected Aspie in his 40s all the time and he works at the movie theatre as a concession stand worker! All the suspected Aspies I see are ALL either underemployed or are still in school in their 30s and all of them are polite, friendly and look like they are highly intelligent too. What the f*** else do employers want?

I know a former co-workers husband who I am 100% sure has severe Aspergers and he was unemployed for years despite being having genius level intelligence. He finally landed a job..... at McDonalds where he worked for a couple years before getting a proper Science job. Most of the "help" provided by charities, etc are gearing towards drug addicts, criminals or other so called undesirables but nobody thinks about AS/HFA adults. I'm sure they probably just think we are all lazy and unmotivated like one career counselor told me I came across as :evil: Like one counsellor told me "with your intelligence and degree there are oodles of jobs for you." When I asked where do I look she went blank.



BLK95TA
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11 Mar 2014, 10:50 am

It's not always the interview process that holds people back. i used to get jobs pretty regularly (i can only think of a few where i was interviewed and not hired)

the problem is keeping the job. you can "fake" being NT for only so long. Long before i knew what AS was or that i had it, i would get a job, work there for 6 weeks to a year (depending on how "corporate" it was, more corporate, i was let go quicker) and then be let go because i "didn't fit in with the office culture" or would get so stressed out i'd quit for another job only to end up getting fired quickly (that happened to me a couple times). i ultimately ended up with a resume showing 9 jobs between 2003 and 2008 with a few 6 month stints of unemployment during that time, and have not worked a regular 40 hr a week job since the summer of 08 and have only done a few short stints of contract stuff where i was grossly underpaid (like $4-5/hr so less than min wage) and am now applying for disability now that i know what i have and why i have had all these issues.



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11 Mar 2014, 3:05 pm

BLK95TA wrote:

the problem is keeping the job. you can "fake" being NT for only so long. Long before i knew what AS was or that i had it, i would get a job, work there for 6 weeks to a year (depending on how "corporate" it was, more corporate, i was let go quicker) and then be let go because i "didn't fit in with the office culture" or would get so stressed out i'd quit for another job only to end up getting fired quickly (that happened to me a couple times).

I never had that issue, but looking back I can GUARANTEE you if I were hired in my field (Economics) I would NOT last long at all. I simply can't fake being "NT" and I cannot do phony "networking" or "charity" events without making my disgust clear. It's probably a good thing I never found a job in my field as I was terribly naive about TRUE motivations of economists I met, especially those who claimed to be "free market" or "libertarian". :( It was like I still believed in the tooth fairy looking back.

Memo to (at least male) Aspies: blue collar work is a FAR better fit for us! The amount of BS and brownnosing is probably less than 10% what you will see in the corporate world and blue collar workers are generally very loyal and direct. I'm not a fan that many smoke and drink heavily but I have never been treated better and even though I have a "white collar" personality, I much prefer the blue collar, working class environments. There are also many "misfits" in blue collar roles and they will accept you for who you are. I might not be able to make a fortune, but I'm happy never having to deal with the REAL office politics and backstabbing that goes on in big corporate jobs.

I knew a guy who was a manager for a company that is ALWAYS hiring Commerce grads (including economics) and he never once mentioned this to me in the years I knew him. I now realize he was doing me a favour. I would have absolutely hated it there and would have ended up on suicide watch if I was forced to work there.



FireyInspiration
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11 Mar 2014, 9:28 pm

Remember the 80% is full-time employment, so it doesn't count those who are part-time employed (many of which are students, so part-time may be all they can do), and also doesn't include those who work freelance or are self-employed.

Regardless, even if you include those numbers, its still a bit bleak.



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11 Mar 2014, 11:00 pm

The Networking craze has been a pretty bad thing also. It is how the majority of jobs are acquired. Both parties in a networking relationship are supposed understand it is about the possibility of eventually getting a job (or a business deal) but are not supposed to acknowledge this and pretend it is about exchanging information. The indirectness and layers of subterfuge masking real intent central to networking is the opposite "black and white" Autistic thinking.

These are things that were told to me by career counselors before I was diagnosed.

As a person in middle age you have acquired large network you can use.
I and most of you do not have this.

Networking and job hunting is like dating and relationships.
I have never dated and thus been in a relationship. Many of you have been but for a lot of you the applying the experiences to a job hunt is not going to make you confident.


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