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cyberdad
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20 Sep 2019, 6:30 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
This is one of the reasons why both autistic people and parents/family need to create organizations that are independent of the professional establishment, to pressure the research establishment into dialog.


I have been trying for a number of years and I have some bad news. Lets start with the parents. The parents are mix of backgrounds and demographics who naturally carry suspicion/reservation about opening up to people they don't know or trust. It's not too different to making friends with strangers; except the only thing that draws us together is having one or more children with autism. Solidarity with parents only goes as far as brief fleeting conversations but beyond that nothing further.

So that leaves professionals (teachers, speech therapists and psychologists) who act as go-betweens bringing parents and children together. I have met plenty of autism specialists and academics now. None of them actually have a direct personal link to autism. They all have NT children so how could they understand?. It seems they have chosen this as a career path out intellectual curiosity or as a way of earning money. That is the sad fact. Speaking to one woman who is an autism researcher her eyes are like glass, not a shred of empathy/sympathy for people like us. This isn't just hyperbole, they are not out friends, they are just beneficiaries of our own trials and tribulations which allows them to get business class air tickets to conferences and expensive European cars and nice mansions in leafy suburbs. I find the commercial aspect of their services compromises trust and (in my view) is a conflict of interest.

Next are the children. Autism is a spectrum. Children/adolescents with autism are already rather withdrawn socially and for them to connect with other children they need to have common interests and common levels of communication skills. This is hit and miss. My daughter's experience hasn't been great, like other girls with autism she has had equally limited success in making friends with girls on the spectrum as she has making friends with NT girls. Therefore if the kids aren't friends then how do you expect the parents to justify meeting up?



Mona Pereth
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01 Oct 2019, 5:53 am

Let's continue the discussion about organizing in a separate thread, in either the Autism Politics, Activism, and Media Representation sub-forum or the Social Skills and Making Friends sub-forum.

To bring this thread back on topic:

I just now I found the following article by John Elder Robison:

Autism at Work Today and Tomorrow.
Neurodivergent people are finding their way, but more progress is needed.
Jan 22, 2019.


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SocOfAutism
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01 Oct 2019, 10:36 am

I feel like the problem isn’t so much that autistic people need to be recruited for more jobs, but that workplaces are not autism friendly.

An autism friendly workplace would benefit NTs and other neuro types too. Do they NEED all those meetings? Do you HAVE to have all the face to face time and groups to get something done? Productivity and comfort could easily be raised for all people with a few autism friendly modifications.



Mona Pereth
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16 Oct 2019, 3:45 am

One good still-small but hopefully growing trend: How remote work is quietly remaking our lives by Rani Molla, Oct 9, 2019. (Working from anywhere: the good, the bad, the lovely.)


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Dial1194
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16 Oct 2019, 7:22 am

SocOfAutism wrote:
I feel like the problem isn’t so much that autistic people need to be recruited for more jobs, but that workplaces are not autism friendly.


I wonder what an autistic-friendly job ad would be like. "No meetings, work from home at your own pace, pays exactly X amount per hour/item. Other benefits listed in full at [link]. No social club, no social events, no requirement for socializing in general. Full comprehensive instructions available for every aspect of the job. Clarification questions welcome. Union-friendly but not mandatory; more information at [other link]. No formal qualifications required. Qualifications which may assist your application include A, B, and C. Preference also given to backgrounds which include D, E, and F. All applications will be individually responded to with feedback."



rick42
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05 Mar 2020, 3:39 pm

The issue is that most business are not willing to create Autism Spectrum friendly work places.Sometimes because they little to nothing know about the Autism Spectrum or sometimes they do know about the Autism Spectrum,but sometimes,they simply don't care about people about Asperger/Autism, and think we incompetent. I know they are some Autism friendly work places out,but even lot of those jobs that are currently Asperger/Autistic friendly are ether minimum wage jobs(which isn't really that much better than living on SSI disability benefits financially speaking ) or computer based jobs(which is has become less Autism Spectrum friendly anyway). To be honest,I think we may have long ways to go before we get to the point where we see a significant drop in unemployment along AS/ASD community, and it may not happen within out lifetimes unfortunately.



Mona Pereth
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06 Mar 2020, 10:08 am

rick42 wrote:
The issue is that most business are not willing to create Autism Spectrum friendly work places.Sometimes because they little to nothing know about the Autism Spectrum or sometimes they do know about the Autism Spectrum,but sometimes,they simply don't care about people about Asperger/Autism, and think we incompetent. I know they are some Autism friendly work places out,but even lot of those jobs that are currently Asperger/Autistic friendly are ether minimum wage jobs(which isn't really that much better than living on SSI disability benefits financially speaking ) or computer based jobs(which is has become less Autism Spectrum friendly anyway).

There's also a variety of decent-paying civil service jobs that some of us can obtain. Civil service has long been a refuge for unpopular minorities of all sorts. But we need civil service unions to be better informed about the needs of autistic workers. This will happen when autistic workers form groups (which could exist primarily online) sufficiently large to get the unions to pay attention.

As for computer-based jobs, it's possible for workplaces to make them autistic-friendly again. To motivate this to happen, we need a sufficiently large and visible group of autistic computer professionals.

rick42 wrote:
To be honest, I think we may have long ways to go before we get to the point where we see a significant drop in unemployment along AS/ASD community, and it may not happen within out lifetimes unfortunately.

We have a long way to go, but I think we can greatly improve things within, say, ten years, maybe even five years, if enough of us get serious about making it happen. There are probably lots of relatively well-to-do NT parents of autistic people who would love to create autistic-friendly businesses to support their offspring (and other autistic people too) if only there were enough highly visible, credible sources of good advice on how to do so.


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Mona Pereth
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07 Mar 2020, 2:24 am

Another recent relevant thread: How to Hire Your First Autistic Employees, quoting the hackermoon article How to Hire Your First Autistic Employees, January 29th, 2020.


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CarrieMG14
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17 Jun 2020, 12:46 am

I'd like an organization for autistics individuals with Masters or Ph.D.s in STEM fields for helping to match them with autism friendly research positions and managing life's daily responsibilities. I really believe autistic characteristics can be a great benefit to scientific and technological advancement but some of our most gifted cannot hold a job due to social difficulties or just being overwhelmed with life.



CarrieMG14
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17 Jun 2020, 1:34 am

[quote="cyberdad"]t seems to me that some (though by no means all, of course) autistic people would be much better able to empathize with autistic children than any NT possibly could. And it seems to me that autistic teachers/aides/etc. should be recruited specifically for that ability, insofar as they have it. (Of course, an autistic teacher would also need to be knowledgeable about the many varieties of autism, and be familiar with the life experiences of many different autistic people, to avoid overgeneralizing from one's own experience.) On the other hand, there are other aspects of running a classroom that an NT is more likely to be able to handle better.

What do you think?



I have a hypothesis that there exists a group of people who are essentially the opposite of autistic. Autism is a spectrum, right. So imagine the opposite end of the spectrum. These people are especially good at social skills and reading people. They are really good at integrating information from all of their senses. They can quickly notice the nuances in body language from one person to the next and accurately interpret what it means, even the unique ways in which an individual autistic person processes things and expresses themselves You may have met a handful of these people in your life. They seem to understand you better than you understand yourself. They seem to instinctively know how to guide you through social situations or processing your emotions. They usually make the best therapists. They are a small percentage of what we would call neurotypical, but really they are neurologically atypical. If you imagine the spectrum is a bell curve, they are on the opposite end of a bell curve from autistics. Most people are in the middle of a bell curve, moderately good at interacting with other neurotypicals, but not naturally good at picking up on diverse ways of communicating or imagining other perspectives. I believe that our counterparts on the opposite end of the spectrum should be identified and recruited for positions working with or supporting autistic children or adults. They can get to know our quirks, figure out our needs and communicate them our neurotypical family members and colleagues. I'd like to see some research to test this hypothesis.