Recently Diagnosed with Asperger's -- Now What?

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Misaligned
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26 Jul 2017, 4:12 pm

Hello,

I am 36 and currently work as an IT professional (Programmer Analyst is my job title but doesn't necessarily reflect what I actually do). I was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. The increasing demands of my job pushed me up against my social limitations and I had to seek help in explaining what my malfunction was. The diagnosis was actually a huge relief and so many things I have struggled with are making more sense now.

My doctor is pretty insistent that I need to seek a new work environment. My current employer is a medium-sized enterprise with over 400 employees and will soon be growing to be more than double that. The circumstances I find particularly challenging are soon to rapidly increase. My doctor suggests I need to find something more accommodating before I "become a statistic." The state of perpetual stress I have been living in for several years now is starting to take it's toll on my health.

I'm finding it a bit challenging on how to go about a new job search with Asperger's in mind. I've identified a few companies which purport to having programs for people on the spectrum but my attempts to reach-out to them have not been answered. Does anyone know of any particular job search sites catering to people on the spectrum or particular companies to look at? Any suggestions on the approach in general?

A job/career change and probable relocation is going to have a big impact on my family (married with two young girls). Although the diagnosis has provided some relief I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by where to go from here. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.



kraftiekortie
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26 Jul 2017, 6:06 pm

I would not quit the present job until you get another job.

But look for that "better" job.



Misaligned
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26 Jul 2017, 6:31 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I would not quit the present job until you get another job.

But look for that "better" job.


Quitting is not an option as I have mouths to feed. I am hopeful I can transition into something I'm better suited for. I got into IT over a decade ago thinking I would be sitting in a cubicle and not needing to interact with people much. My experience has been anything but and I've ended up in a position that requires quite a lot of it. I'm told I'm good at it but it's exhausting and sometimes gets to the point where I'm completely overwhelmed (something I used to think was simply anxiety). Thanks for your reply.



mitchel
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04 Aug 2017, 7:37 pm

You've flown under the radar this far, I think you can just focus on a new/better environment without having to run on being Autistic/Aspergers. I highly recommend reading Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, a part of it is about people on the spectrum being prevalent in the valley and in tech.



TreeShadow
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04 Aug 2017, 8:41 pm

I am in a similar situation, so I'm interested in what other answers you get. My job started out being less personal interaction-focused, but now it's a major part of my job and it's just exhausting. I am trying to think about other careers, but it feels like finding a job with a low degree of social interaction is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. My current employer offers free and confidential career counseling, so I am considering making an appointment to get some advice on which direction to take. Even if you don't have this service through your employer, you might be able to find an organization that provides such a service in your area. It might help to get another perspective, from a professional who helps people find career paths every day.



Misaligned
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05 Aug 2017, 1:44 am

mitchel wrote:
You've flown under the radar this far, I think you can just focus on a new/better environment without having to run on being Autistic/Aspergers. I highly recommend reading Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, a part of it is about people on the spectrum being prevalent in the valley and in tech.


Thanks for the advice. I will check out that book!



Misaligned
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05 Aug 2017, 1:47 am

TreeShadow wrote:
I am in a similar situation, so I'm interested in what other answers you get. My job started out being less personal interaction-focused, but now it's a major part of my job and it's just exhausting. I am trying to think about other careers, but it feels like finding a job with a low degree of social interaction is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. My current employer offers free and confidential career counseling, so I am considering making an appointment to get some advice on which direction to take. Even if you don't have this service through your employer, you might be able to find an organization that provides such a service in your area. It might help to get another perspective, from a professional who helps people find career paths every day.


You're articulated the situation well and sounds like we're in a similar boat. I went down an Internet rabbit hole recently while searching on an unrelated topic and stumbled on just such a career counseling professional. I've been considering giving it a go.



mitchel
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05 Aug 2017, 9:28 am

Misaligned wrote:
mitchel wrote:
You've flown under the radar this far, I think you can just focus on a new/better environment without having to run on being Autistic/Aspergers. I highly recommend reading Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, a part of it is about people on the spectrum being prevalent in the valley and in tech.


Thanks for the advice. I will check out that book!


No problem! There's a natural tendency to want to talk about it, especially immediately after your diagnosis, but most people don't understand it and have preconceived notions/stereotypes regarding such situations; especially IT recruiters.



AngryAngryAngry
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12 Aug 2017, 4:10 am

Now you know who you are, you have knowledge, and knowledge is power.
Now you can find that job where you are left to work by yourself.
Best of luck.