Employment for autistics. Then and now.

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Nades
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28 Mar 2022, 3:19 am

Don't really know where this topic is best suited so I'll chuck it here for now.

Do you think job opportunities were better for autistics in the 50s for example or do you think they're better now?

While I think autism awareness has greatly increased over the years, I think it's not helpful and is often a barrier where "quirks" in the past are now acknowledge as symptoms of "that disorder" that makes people never grow up.

I personally think employment opportunities were better in decades past than they are now.



autisticelders
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28 Mar 2022, 5:13 am

the economy and openings for jobs was definitely different. People worked for whatever wages they could get, there was a booming economy so lots of opportunities, most people did not have "benefits" or union wages and many worked 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. There were a lot more factory jobs and farming/manual labor jobs available. It is kind of like comparing apples and oranges, the situation was so different in so many ways as to make the two almost impossible to compare. (I was born in 1951, so I have seen it first hand, though as a child I did not understand much of it at the time. I began working at age 14 in a local dime store for $1.29 an hour, had to have my father sign a permission slip for that. I worked before that babysitting and cleaning up yards, painting house numbers on curbs, walking dogs, caring for pets while others were on vacation. I worked several jobs all my life, up to 3 at a time (one full time and two part time, even for about a year 2 full time . People seemed to have more reliability and sense of responsibility then too. Had to with no unemployment to fall back on in those days and no government supplements to income if you earned low wages. Interesting to see how things have changed. I gratefully retired a few years ago after 50 years of work and multiple( around 40 ) jobs due to my autistic struggles. The economy today is going begging for employees at all levels of work but is not able to find willing workers for most of the jobs offered. Very few people accept overtime or work more than one job these days. Things are indeed very different.


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auntblabby
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28 Mar 2022, 5:23 am

if it weren't for the military, i would not have been able to get any job and keep it for long.



SharonB
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28 Mar 2022, 9:44 am

In our case gender trumps Autism (followed by race). Autistic men can only get so far, but Autistic women can't even get that far (then add race, visible disabilities, etc.).

The workplace was better for me than it was for my mother. It was better for my mom that it was for her mother. It is still awful. I wish more workplaces had reduced work hours and more support. I wish more workplaces would use the benefits of individual differences rather than using those differences against the individuals.



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28 Mar 2022, 11:27 am

I think that there were more opportunities for people on the spectrum in the 60s than there are now. There weren't as many robots and computers back than. Once robots started taking over, opportunities have become less and less. Those robots are placed in factories.


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28 Mar 2022, 11:48 am

There is acceptance of autism .

However , jobs done in isolation are fewer. For example, computer programming jobs could be done in isolation .

There was less requirements for communication skills , leadership and management.

Routine jobs such as packing are now done by robots.

No outsourcing.

The world was less competitive.



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28 Mar 2022, 1:03 pm

There are more telecommuting jobs now than back then

American Disability Act

More autism awareness now



auntblabby
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28 Mar 2022, 3:59 pm

automation is killin' folk like myself in the job market.



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28 Mar 2022, 8:57 pm

Employment itself has changed more than the AS relationship to it. I would still focus on self-employment.



Nades
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29 Mar 2022, 1:41 am

SharonB wrote:
In our case gender trumps Autism (followed by race). Autistic men can only get so far, but Autistic women can't even get that far (then add race, visible disabilities, etc.).

The workplace was better for me than it was for my mother. It was better for my mom that it was for her mother. It is still awful. I wish more workplaces had reduced work hours and more support. I wish more workplaces would use the benefits of individual differences rather than using those differences against the individuals.



I haven't really noticed any proportional difference between male and female aspies with employment prospects. It seems at least that many female aspies on this website and the occasional one I meet face to face are equally as likely to be unemployed from what I've seen.

By reduced working hours how many do you mean? By support what specific support would you like to see from employers?



Nades
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29 Mar 2022, 1:46 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I think that there were more opportunities for people on the spectrum in the 60s than there are now. There weren't as many robots and computers back than. Once robots started taking over, opportunities have become less and less. Those robots are placed in factories.


I think the same. I think how blinkered the general public was to autism actually helped in our favour back then too. There wasn't a disability to tag on a socially awkward and quiet person back then.

Now there is and that tag is pretty ugly at times. I read an article yesterday about autistics who take their plushies to work with them and one has to wonder what impact it's having on the rest of the autistic community if employers start thinking this behaviour is typical of autistics.



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29 Mar 2022, 6:56 am

Nades wrote:
Don't really know where this topic is best suited so I'll chuck it here for now.

Do you think job opportunities were better for autistics in the 50s for example or do you think they're better now?

While I think autism awareness has greatly increased over the years, I think it's not helpful and is often a barrier where "quirks" in the past are now acknowledge as symptoms of "that disorder" that makes people never grow up.

I personally think employment opportunities were better in decades past than they are now.

I can’t even keep any McJob despite being a straight a college grad with a bachelors my resume is also never given a chance because I have no experience and I have been unemployed for a decade so I started to invest in oil wells and stocks for income with my dad as a ceo and oil baron but think I would of been able to get a office job in the seventies or worked on a farm in the twenties but outsourcing inflation and automation are destroying the quality of life of unlucky autistic people i I wish I would of been a c student or d student in high school and college because good grades never got me nowhere in the real world I could of worked at a factory for fourty years and retired with health insurance and a pension and made a much higher min wage if I had to in the sixties in real dollars



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29 Mar 2022, 9:19 am

I'd say it's harder now. In the past, lots of people were needed for simple but demanding physical labor, and if there was a shortage of workers, no one cared if you were a little weird as long as you got your job done. Or well, people probably did care, just not enough to not hire the weirdo. And even for us physically disabled aspies there were more work opportunities, but these days a lot of those have been destroyed by technology.

Nades wrote:
SharonB wrote:
In our case gender trumps Autism (followed by race). Autistic men can only get so far, but Autistic women can't even get that far (then add race, visible disabilities, etc.).

The workplace was better for me than it was for my mother. It was better for my mom that it was for her mother. It is still awful. I wish more workplaces had reduced work hours and more support. I wish more workplaces would use the benefits of individual differences rather than using those differences against the individuals.



I haven't really noticed any proportional difference between male and female aspies with employment prospects. It seems at least that many female aspies on this website and the occasional one I meet face to face are equally as likely to be unemployed from what I've seen.

By reduced working hours how many do you mean? By support what specific support would you like to see from employers?


I think she's talking about the "glass ceiling" and that kind of stuff. As in, women sometimes automatically being considered less capable than men just because they're women. Naturally, this brings disadvantages to autistic women as well.



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31 Mar 2022, 10:49 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Nades wrote:
SharonB wrote:
In our case gender trumps Autism (followed by race). Autistic men can only get so far, but Autistic women can't even get that far (then add race, visible disabilities, etc.).

The workplace was better for me than it was for my mother. It was better for my mom that it was for her mother. It is still awful. I wish more workplaces had reduced work hours and more support. I wish more workplaces would use the benefits of individual differences rather than using those differences against the individuals.



I haven't really noticed any proportional difference between male and female aspies with employment prospects. It seems at least that many female aspies on this website and the occasional one I meet face to face are equally as likely to be unemployed from what I've seen.

By reduced working hours how many do you mean? By support what specific support would you like to see from employers?


I think she's talking about the "glass ceiling" and that kind of stuff. As in, women sometimes automatically being considered less capable than men just because they're women. Naturally, this brings disadvantages to autistic women as well.

Yes, the glass ceiling, but also the glass wall upon entry. My ASD-like grandfather found employement, my ASD grandmother did not. My BFF's ASD dad was slightly underemployed, my BFF's ASD mother was severely underemployed. Not many ASD folks may be employed appropriately, but it's an even lower percentage for intersectional folks. In the case of my BFF and I, we were hired and made our way into appropriate employment (hence my perspective: better now for ASD women than in the past), but then we both got stuck while our ASD male peers continued to advance. So sad for the world that it oppresses talent based on biases. In my case I left my industry b/c being underpaid and then bullied more relative to my male peers was not worthwhile in the face of pandemic childcare. SheCession here.

Nades, studies indicate that "less can be more" in terms of work hours. Even a reduction to 35-hours a week would be good. It could be optional, but readily available and culturally acceptable. I know there are gig jobs and part-time jobs now, but they are not often livable or mainstream if you will. If our culture more readily supported it, I imagine that a previous "workaholic" would come to enjoy spending more hours in the community or with family, or that a previously "at home" person would come to enjoy a doable amount of work. That it wouldn't have to be either all work or no work --- either parent or volunteer or tinker, or don't. A person could more readily do both or more. It would be better for individuals, for families, for society, including those businesses.



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31 Mar 2022, 11:41 am

Nades wrote:
Don't really know where this topic is best suited so I'll chuck it here for now.

Do you think job opportunities were better for autistics in the 50s for example or do you think they're better now?

While I think autism awareness has greatly increased over the years, I think it's not helpful and is often a barrier where "quirks" in the past are now acknowledge as symptoms of "that disorder" that makes people never grow up.

I personally think employment opportunities were better in decades past than they are now.


Wow, someone older than me.
I personally agree with your view. I lived my life and worked for 40 years before I retired. And now in my old age I finally figured out that I had Asperger's.
In my own opinion, many people with autism today are identified early on. They are provided chemical cures that are not really cures because they steal the unique strengths that Aspies have.

Its like a WIN LOSE proposition.


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Nades
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31 Mar 2022, 11:41 am

SharonB wrote:
Fireblossom wrote:
Nades wrote:
SharonB wrote:
In our case gender trumps Autism (followed by race). Autistic men can only get so far, but Autistic women can't even get that far (then add race, visible disabilities, etc.).

The workplace was better for me than it was for my mother. It was better for my mom that it was for her mother. It is still awful. I wish more workplaces had reduced work hours and more support. I wish more workplaces would use the benefits of individual differences rather than using those differences against the individuals.



I haven't really noticed any proportional difference between male and female aspies with employment prospects. It seems at least that many female aspies on this website and the occasional one I meet face to face are equally as likely to be unemployed from what I've seen.

By reduced working hours how many do you mean? By support what specific support would you like to see from employers?


I think she's talking about the "glass ceiling" and that kind of stuff. As in, women sometimes automatically being considered less capable than men just because they're women. Naturally, this brings disadvantages to autistic women as well.

Yes, the glass ceiling, but also the glass wall upon entry. My ASD-like grandfather found employement, my ASD grandmother did not. My BFF's ASD dad was slightly underemployed, my BFF's ASD mother was severely underemployed. Not many ASD folks may be employed appropriately, but it's an even lower percentage for intersectional folks. In the case of my BFF and I, we were hired and made our way into appropriate employment (hence my perspective: better now for ASD women than in the past), but then we both got stuck while our ASD male peers continued to advance. So sad for the world that it oppresses talent based on biases. In my case I left my industry b/c being underpaid and then bullied more relative to my male peers was not worthwhile in the face of pandemic childcare. SheCession here.

Nades, studies indicate that "less can be more" in terms of work hours. Even a reduction to 35-hours a week would be good. It could be optional, but readily available and culturally acceptable. I know there are gig jobs and part-time jobs now, but they are not often livable or mainstream if you will. If our culture more readily supported it, I imagine that a previous "workaholic" would come to enjoy spending more hours in the community or with family, or that a previously "at home" person would come to enjoy a doable amount of work. That it wouldn't have to be either all work or no work --- either parent or volunteer or tinker, or don't. A person could more readily do both or more. It would be better for individuals, for families, for society, including those businesses.


What industry did you work in?

I think there are a wide range of problems for employment of autistics. I think one is the fact jobs are becoming increasingly automated and autistics seem less able to do more complex jobs.

Another I feel is is perhaps the over acceptance of autism if it makes sense. I feel autism is becoming a little too embraced for my liking. Rather than trying to fit in, more and more aspies seem to be making a bit of a scene of their autism like the article I read several days ago about them bringing their massive plushies into work for emotional support.

Touching on the first point, the lack of interest autistics seem to have in the louder and dirty jobs which again limits what jobs they can have.

Autistic women I feel are more prone to other mental health problems compared to autistic men or NT women. Anxiety seems to be the big one and it's always a barrier to work. The glass celling itself for women is difficult to pick apart into anything concrete.

Reduced hours would be nice too. For me I would like to reduce the hours in me week which are currently 50+. I'm working on it already but excessive hours hit autistics particularly hard.