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Greentea
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24 Jun 2009, 11:50 am

1. If you receive a monthly payment from the government for your AS because they reached the conclusion that you're unemployable, what aspects of your AS make you unemployable according to them?

2. And do you agree with those aspects or do you consider that other aspects of AS are in fact what makes you unemployable?

I ask because I usually find jobs after a while (although I'm soon fired from them), therefore I'm not considered unemployable. Which means I have to live a life of constant unemployment and constantly being fired, and it's a very painful way to live.


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Wedge
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24 Jun 2009, 12:08 pm

Those questions you asked are interesting.
But why do you get fired from your jobs?
My psychologist told me yesterday exactly the same thing, that I probably could get a job if I wanted but he thought I wouldn't last long on the job. I forgot to ask him why did he think so.



Rainbow-Squirrel
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24 Jun 2009, 12:10 pm

Mostly the total lack of desire to find a job, that's why I ended up working in a family (mine)- run shop...



Willard
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24 Jun 2009, 1:42 pm

Greentea wrote:
1. If you receive a monthly payment from the government for your AS because they reached the conclusion that you're unemployable, what aspects of your AS make you unemployable according to them?

2. And do you agree with those aspects or do you consider that other aspects of AS are in fact what makes you unemployable?

I ask because I usually find jobs after a while (although I'm soon fired from them), therefore I'm not considered unemployable. Which means I have to live a life of constant unemployment and constantly being fired, and it's a very painful way to live.


Ditto and ditto. I'm going through that very struggle right now - trying to explain to government paper-pushers that in spite of the fact that I'm not physically crippled or mentally retarded, my autism is a very severe handicap, and becoming more so every year, because my age makes the job searching ever more difficult.

I worked in a very specific career for thirty years, that was perfectly suited to both my obsessive Aspergian nature and my difficulties socializing - I got paid to work in a room alone playing records and talking to myself. Even at that, my pattern was 15 to 18 months on the job, then 8 to 10 months on unemployment (always fired - rarely quit a job). After the first ten years or so, that gets pretty tiresome. At 50, it's suicidally depressing.

Why am I unemployable? Well, now that I can put a name (AS) with my own odd and uncontrollable interactions and reactions with the human world, I understand it perfectly. Explaining it to anyone other than a mental health professional with a working knowledge of High Functioning Autism is another matter.

I'm unemployable because nearly every middle-management executive-wannabe type personality I've ever met in my life has their own obsession - they not only need to be in control - they need everyone under their command to behave and function in exactly the same way. Because of my autism, there are often times and situations in which I have to find an alternate method of achieving a goal - the traditional routes simply stop me cold. I can't always explain why. Sometimes my pattern of logic just takes an alternate path. What works quickly and efficiently for me may be strikingly different than what's simple for everybody else. These alpha management types haaaaate that. It confuses them and they are easily frightened and unsettled by what they don't understand. That fear turns almost immediately to hostility and bada-boom-bada-bing I'm suddenly NOT A TEAM PLAYER. Translation: Yoah fi-aahd!

Sadly, when you explain it that way on a government form, the typical reaction to that explanation is "That's very articulate. A smart guy like you should have no trouble getting a job."

No, getting a job hasn't been the issue. I can charm the pants off almost anyone in a job interview. A hundred bucks says I won't make to a second anniversary. And now they don't want me because my age will make their insurance rates go up.

I'm too old for this s**t.



Magneto
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24 Jun 2009, 1:54 pm

Can't you get a nice discrimination payout, or do they not apply to Aspies?



MrLoony
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24 Jun 2009, 2:06 pm

Magneto wrote:
Can't you get a nice discrimination payout, or do they not apply to Aspies?


This is why I'd like to see autistics added to the list of minorities. Discrimination happens against autistics that are not disabled (and, let's face it: The government sucks at enforcing ADA laws). Not only that, but the disabling parts of autism comorbids and autism itself are not well understood.

Me? I can't sell or lie very well at all, which means that any job that I could currently get with nothing but a GED (aside from a math tutor at the college here) would fire me almost immediately, as customer service jobs have this as an unwritten requirement. There are casinos, but I have had trouble getting jobs with them, and I'm not too keen on cigarette smoke, either. I wonder if they'd let me wear a face mask?


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Nan
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24 Jun 2009, 2:14 pm

Magneto - These things are almost impossible to prove in court. In almost every ADA case going, the employer wins unless the employee can prove an ongoing track record by the employer of discrimination. And lawyers are damned expensive.

I used to bounce from job to job when I was younger. I worked late at night in a room full of computers and no other people. It worked well for me, as they'd leave me the work to do (written down) and I'd just do it. I'd make it 18 months to 2 years and then go so stir crazy I'd move on to another place. Same thing. Most of the time I was barely functional at the job, as it was all "self-taught" so I knew what buttons to push while not knowing what the buttons did. I eventually ended up in a place that eliminated graveyard shift and put me on first shift and evenings. That was a living hell, having to play all the "people" games in a highly... what's the word, where it was all about image?... company. I was used to coming to work in jeans and a sweat shirt with my hair tied back. Suddenly it was suits, pantyhose, and heels, plus all the social niceties... I made it about 6 weeks after the shift change (and total destruction of my routines) before I totally lost it. Fortunately I was pregnant at the time and was having a problem pregnancy, so went out on pregnancy disability. They let me go when it was time to come back from maternity leave - they'd "reorganized" and my position was eliminated. No lawyer would touch the case without money up front, and a lot of money, at that. I was hardly a "personable" ideal client.

I'm also in my fifties, and have glommed onto the one industry (higher ed) where a bit of leeway is given to "unusual" personality types. I've been at four jobs in 17 years, the last two for five years each. It's grindingly boring, way beyond tears, but I've learned to just stuff that elsewhere and keep coming in, doing the little mundane tasks exactly as they tell me they want them done. It pays the bills and, hopefully, will give me a retirement option in another 10 years.

My kid, who is also Aspie - and not nearly as much of one as I was at her age - is stepping through some of the same routine. It's like watching a freight train hit a semi, in slowmo.... She was laid off recently. She's also got some pretty serious health issues on top of Aspergers. But since she can do some kind of work, even if it was just stuffing envelopes all day, they won't qualify her for social security. Which is what we need as it would allow me to petition my employer to leave her on my medical insurance. Otherwise she has six months before she rolls off my insurance. If she was on SSDI, at least she'd get Medicare. As it is, there's nothing out there for her. I can COBRA her coverage at $600 a month for 18 months after that, but I can't afford that. But she has to have care. If she could get another job with medical insurance, no problem. But her health issues plus the Aspie thing are keeping her from getting the jobs. So, while technically she COULD work, she can't FIND work (and is highly unlikely to at any level of an organization that includes health insurance). Which means no medical care. Which means worsening health issues.... Sigh.



ADoyle
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24 Jun 2009, 2:27 pm

My problem is the interview process, where it's been rare for me to get hired after the interview. I might look great on paper, but that's it. Another issue is that I can get so focused on what I'm doing that I don't acknowledge others or participate in small talk. I have never been fired, just one of those who is first in the layoffs when they've happened. The thing that helped me to get my AS diagnosis was being told that I had to drop an internship class, even though it wasn't a paid internship.


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Greentea
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24 Jun 2009, 2:29 pm

Willard wrote:
A hundred bucks says I won't make to a second anniversary.


I'm always fired before the second anniversary too.


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Fedaykin
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24 Jun 2009, 3:23 pm

I considered myself employable at the start of my adult life, though at that time, family life was very turbulent with two broke, unemployed and alchoholized parents, and I didn't get any help getting a job, so it wasn't long before I got stressed out from trying and gradually slumped into apathy. I wish the employment office would help me get into workplaces, but they refuse to offer any help. With my resumé, I'm not really employable, though it's hard to say whether it's more due to AS than bad luck. My complete lack of a social network these days is of course due to AS, and having such a network would have helped.



MattShizzle
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24 Jun 2009, 3:39 pm

ADoyle wrote:
My problem is the interview process, where it's been rare for me to get hired after the interview. I might look great on paper, but that's it.


Same here. I'd almost always get an interview but after hundreds of interviews not get the job. They always ask those really "deep" questions that I don't know how to answer - plus the social anxiety has me in a near panic during the interview so my mind goes blank.



bhetti
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24 Jun 2009, 3:39 pm

when I lost my last job, the company cleverly eliminated my position so they could lay me off. they were quite up front about it to my face, too, because I don't think they really wanted to but recognized I was having severe issues... none of which necessitated getting rid of me, IMO, but would have required concessions on their part which they weren't willing to make.

they would have had to stop changing my job description every other week. they would have had to let me work part of the time from home, which I was already doing but which they found unacceptable. they would have had to accept that I have a disabled child and would have had to leave work to care for him occasionally.

the person they handed my responsibilities to was so mad over the extra work they quit, too. even though the company didn't realize it, I did a lot of work. all they could see were my problems.

so, after I lost that job, the unemployment office decided I was a displaced worker and offered me retraining, which I couldn't do because my son was having deep issues. I was then diagnosed with PTSD and put on disability. my son was diagnosed with NVLD and is now getting appropriate help, and now it turns up I have AS, which explains why some parts of my PTSD treatment haven't been working so well.

I hold out hope that I'll be self-sufficient and that there's a place for someone like me.



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24 Jun 2009, 3:43 pm

I just got denied Social Security but was told they almost always deny the initial application.



Greentea
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24 Jun 2009, 3:46 pm

bhetti wrote:
they would have had to stop changing my job description every other week.


That's a huge problem for me too.


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Aimless
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24 Jun 2009, 3:48 pm

I clean offices and sometimes I find I am better educated than some of the office workers. Still, I have no real "hard skills". I don't know how to do anything. Part of that is because of all the time I lost being a depressed drunk. I am employable but I can say with assurance that I would not survive in an office setting. Disability is an unclear process. I know someone whose husband suffers from constant debilitating pain from a back injury and was told he didn't qualify.