Why is ASD a bigger issue in modern times?

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TheSperg
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05 Mar 2014, 3:07 am

Most of the thinking I've seen about the supposed autism "epidemic" is that it is simply better diagnosis, and maybe a bit of over diagnosis. So there is not really more people with ASD now, there have always been people with it just now they are getting diagnosed instead of just being called weirdos or strange if they are milder.

But it also seems like a lot of HFA or milder ASD people are unemployed or struggling with employment, or are on SSI. This is curious to me because why are they suddenly considered unemployable by employers, but weren't 20-50 years ago or more?
What is it about the modern job market that is incompatible with HFA?



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05 Mar 2014, 3:28 am

perhaps because people now have official labels tagged to them and disclose their disability on the forms in the belief they will always be protected from discrimination, bosses can turn them away at the first stage,saying they have found enough people for the job role when theyre really just dumping whoever doesnt fit their overblown standards.

very few HFA people in the UK work,the national autistic society has some stats on those who work and those who dont.
its ridiculous as all it takes for some people is understanding and no accomodation,so its not like theyre losing out by taking them on.

am LFA and have a ocasional paid job;by the most accomodating people in the world.
working for the NHS social services learning [intelectual] disability team as a interviewer along side other service users of theirs who are employed by them for interviews;am given a communicator who speaks the questions am typing out for the interviewee[?] and after each interview we all discuss what we thought of the person in terms of their understanding of intelectual disability,specific complex disabilities such as PMLD, classic autism,down syndrome etc as these are the ones they support the most...

...how well they communicated with us and how we think they woud do in their job roll,theyre given a score from us which is added to the score from the formal interview,and it can make or break a job.


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05 Mar 2014, 3:55 am

Quote:
What is it about the modern job market that is incompatible with HFA?


Soft skills. Customers are apparently going to die if they have to be dealt with by anyone other than a "bubbly people person", even if said person is perfectly courteous and competent. This applies even to jobs with little to no human contact.
It's why the service sector contains so many lovely, friendly people who would be nice to have a drink with but who couldn't find their arse with both hands.


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dc2610
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05 Mar 2014, 4:16 am

Who_Am_I wrote:
Quote:
What is it about the modern job market that is incompatible with HFA?


Soft skills. Customers are apparently going to die if they have to be dealt with by anyone other than a "bubbly people person", even if said person is perfectly courteous and competent. This applies even to jobs with little to no human contact.
It's why the service sector contains so many lovely, friendly people who would be nice to have a drink with but who couldn't find their arse with both hands.


You've never been to NYC then, where people who works in the service sector are downright nasty, mean-spirited and seem to hate everybody.

Maybe it's because the jobs are different today than they used to be. I know here in the states there aren't any more manufacturing jobs. More jobs are in retail now and everybody seems to hate working in retail even NTs.



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05 Mar 2014, 5:17 am

Because being good at socializing is more 'marketable' than having real job skills. People like us have always been around, but 100 years ago employers cared more about productivity than about people smiling on the f****ing job. I don't know why the change occurred..maybe someone who has done more research on the subject could tell me :? .


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05 Mar 2014, 5:29 am

Pastanoodle wrote:
Because being good at socializing is more 'marketable' than having real job skills. People like us have always been around, but 100 years ago employers cared more about productivity than about people smiling on the f****ing job. I don't know why the change occurred..maybe someone who has done more research on the subject could tell me :? .


I think it's because of the rise of services sector. Like dc2610 said, before jobs were mostly manufacturing, now with machines and such the biggest sector is service.



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05 Mar 2014, 5:50 am

The population has also grown by a couple of billion in the last ten years.

I've actually struggled all my life to find employment even before I was diagnosed. It was basically because I lacked social skills.


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05 Mar 2014, 6:24 am

TheSperg wrote:
But it also seems like a lot of HFA or milder ASD people are unemployed or struggling with employment, or are on SSI. This is curious to me because why are they suddenly considered unemployable by employers, but weren't 20-50 years ago or more?
What is it about the modern job market that is incompatible with HFA?

Why are you assuming that they were employed in the past? If ASD people are 1% of the population, then all them could've been homeless, locked up or dead and it would have no noticeable effect on society. And, a lot more people were locked in the looney bin 20+ years ago.

That said, I think employment probably is harder. There seems to be a faddish management obsession with being a "people person" that's been getting worse since the 80's.

And maybe the loss of the long-term-career-at-one-company means that people have to be more homogenous, in terms of fitting in, since no one is going to be there for a long time to notice. That is, that fast, superficial charm has become more important.



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05 Mar 2014, 6:29 am

I think people just used different labels in the past. Like mentally retarded or childhood schizophrenia.



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05 Mar 2014, 10:19 am

TheSperg wrote:
Most of the thinking I've seen about the supposed autism "epidemic" is that it is simply better diagnosis, and maybe a bit of over diagnosis. So there is not really more people with ASD now, there have always been people with it just now they are getting diagnosed instead of just being called weirdos or strange if they are milder.

But it also seems like a lot of HFA or milder ASD people are unemployed or struggling with employment, or are on SSI. This is curious to me because why are they suddenly considered unemployable by employers, but weren't 20-50 years ago or more?
What is it about the modern job market that is incompatible with HFA?


Times have changed, people have gotten less trusting so it's harder to get a job now and that creates roadblocks for people with disabilities. Think of it at this. What if we lived in a world without reading, everything was in pictures. Then suddenly words started to appear and we all had to learn to read and understand them. Think of all the people out there with a learning disability who have a hard time with words and reading and understanding, all of a sudden more disabled people would appear in the world because of what's changed. That is what happened to people with disabilities who were invisible back in the days because getting a job was easier. back then you didn't even need experience either I have read and they hired anyone. Now work places prefer to hire people with experience and basically if you are a outcast, a loner, you will have a hard time with job searching because you didn't have anyone who will just hire you or give you volunteer work or recommend you and you don't have references.

I am not sure what has changed on the job except for when finding one.


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05 Mar 2014, 12:25 pm

The job interview/employment workshop I attended reported that "having and making social connections is the best way to get a job in today's economy."

In other words, introverts and autistics are SOL.


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05 Mar 2014, 1:05 pm

To cut a long story short, I have an aunt and we are all sure she lies somewhere on the spectrum (I won't go into all the details). She is in her late 40s now, but when she was a child she showed a lot of Aspie traits, obviously nobody knew about Asperger's back then, but she still displayed behaviour what people noticed and caused concern, and none of her brothers or sisters had those traits. She rocked backwards and forwards a lot on her own, and just done some other things what seem to me like a typical Aspie would as a child (again I won't go into every detail, as this post will end up being too long). But when she was a teenager apparently she had more of a social life than what I had as a teenager, and by the time she was my age she was settled with a partner and was pregnant.

It seemed life was easier for possible Aspies back in the 60s, 70s and 80s (and before then), as though Aspies didn't get so socially excluded (mind you my aunt did get bullied at High School). Maybe Aspies that aren't diagnosed get on better than they do if they are diagnosed in childhood?


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05 Mar 2014, 1:15 pm

Joe90 wrote:
It seemed life was easier for possible Aspies back in the 60s, 70s and 80s (and before then), as though Aspies didn't get so socially excluded (mind you my aunt did get bullied at High School). Maybe Aspies that aren't diagnosed get on better than they do if they are diagnosed in childhood?

Eh, I think it's hit-or-miss. I'm glad your aunt ended up managing all right, but my own experience has been total failure in jobs, marriage, and friendships as an adult. It's just that without a diagnosis, I had no idea what was wrong with me, or how to deal with it.



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05 Mar 2014, 1:19 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
am LFA and have a ocasional paid job;by the most accomodating people in the world.
working for the NHS social services learning [intelectual] disability team as a interviewer along side other service users of theirs who are employed by them for interviews;am given a communicator who speaks the questions am typing out for the interviewee[?] and after each interview we all discuss what we thought of the person in terms of their understanding of intelectual disability,specific complex disabilities such as PMLD, classic autism,down syndrome etc as these are the ones they support the most...


Wow, what a cool job, KoR! It makes so much sense for organizations like the NHS to have service users interview potential employees, but I bet hardly any of those organizations actually do it.


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05 Mar 2014, 10:14 pm

ASD is in part a bigger issue now because many ASD (not usually Aspie but more severe Aspie and autistic) people are living in the community, rather than in institutions. We actually have somewhat of a voice. Before, we would sometimes be institutionalized for life - for example I would have been. Donna Williams' biography is a good read for what would have happened to many autistic people in the '60s, '70s and '80s.

Higher functioning people wondered what was wrong with them, and went through the rounds and rounds of therapy trying to figure it out. The people who were given a chance were from more privileged backgrounds, such as Temple Grandin.


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05 Mar 2014, 10:29 pm

50 years ago or longer, such people probably committed suicide and/or where in insane asylums if they had trouble coping....probably not largely employed, just more invisible to the public you could say. Also not everyone with HFA is considered 'unemployable' but there are a number of reasons why many can't find substantial work....social skills are valued in a lot of jobs, obviously people with autism have difficulties in that department. But then sensory issues, trouble with changing routines, executive dysfunction, slow processing speed, getting overwhelmed with stress too easily and other things that can come with autism also make getting and keeping a job difficult if not impossible.


And well 20 years ago, I think autism was recognized....though many moderate to high functioning individuals slipped through the cracks, such as me....and well again many where probably jobless or on SSI just not due to being on the autism spectrum, as it may not have been recognized. And of course I think suicide was probably also an issue 20 years ago...still is even today.


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