This web site is relatively stale as I work on it occasionally. I have decided to reference a new book because it said things that I missed.
Alienbeing.org has taken an interest in Rudy Simone’s book, “Asperger’s on the Job”, published in 2010 by Future Horizons Inc. Arlington, TX. The book is recommended, and is more comprehensively researched than this web site.
The autistic worker can do well due to “unique thoughts, not the herd mentality” (P. 2). Autistic workers are honest, hard working, and results oriented. Autistic people can appear normal at times (until they tire out and they need a break). The challenge is to work without instruction and to be able to ask the follow-up questions.
Autistic people can (P. 19-21) “have an urge to inform” their bosses and co-workers. However, there is a risk of upsetting co-workers and superiors if the comments said are offensive and not thought through. I am aware of these mistakes from my experience, as it is a challenge when someone says, “Tell me what you really think” when you have to respond immediately and when the literal truth is not what should be stated.
The solution for me was a more behind-the-scenes job with a minimal number of meetings. I work best alone. The book talked about having a predictable routine, which reduces the stress of dealing with surprise. The challenge is learning to ask the boss a follow-up question (p. 52).
I did not agree with the book’s suggestion (P. 34) to practice smiling – to me, the act of smiling is neurological – like some in the autistic spectrum, I laugh at my leisure, not at others’. Monitoring my facial expressions and emulating others (P. 91) may not be as practical of a solution for me as for others. Practicing smiling may stretch your facial muscles but does not substitute for the neurological.
Others may comment on your behavior – you can learn from feedback from others. I was told I like to slam the phone down when hanging up on a call. I do feel stress when I receive negative feedback, but I do evaluate whether the suggested corrective actions are doable for me.
The book described the need for people with Asperger’s to maintain control over their environment “withdraw from social contact” (P. 66-67). That is true, as blocking out distractions helps me to concentrate and to learn.
I don’t view my behavior as seeking control on others, but control on my environment – while others may view it as control – I don’t know. The control discussion was the most difficult part of the book for me to understand because as I see it, withdrawal from the peripheral and focus on the matter at hand is a successful technique to maximize performance.
The book discusses small talk, bullying, gossip, workplace conditions, disclosure of your condition, choosing a career, dealing with criticism.