I’d like to share with you some background information as to how I came to work with the population of people diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome – moving forward referred to as “the spectrum.”
But first- I want to interject some information that expands on this spectrum that we speak of: the autism spectrum. Through the truly exciting advances in the field of neuroscience, we are now coming to understand that this “spectrum,” which is created by a different brain wiring, includes other people. Whether from birth or acquired after birth is not our argument. That this brain wiring can come about at a later point in life is the focus. It is now understood that people who have suffered traumatic emotional stress can develop the types of challenges that I’ll talk about through the rest of this page and website. These are people who have AD(H)D, NLD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and long-standing depression.
Now, on to my story …
Literally, one day I had never even heard of Asperger’s Syndrome and the next day, based on my background, I was going to develop and deliver a job search training program for AS clients, in a private practice. I created the program, began working with clients, teaching them all that I knew about how to have a strategic job search, and I thought they would all go out and get jobs. Well, they didn’t!
Lest you might think that I was, ultimately,
surprised by this, I was and I wasn’t!
As time marched on, I began to learn more and more about this syndrome. Being largely self-taught through, probably, thousands of hours of research, reading, observing, and working one-on-one with my clients, I began to really understand what was needed in the way of assistance, how to best deliver the assistance, and the other components that needed to be brought into the assistance … the textbook learning about Executive Function, social skills, and the components that exist within these challenges.
Through my own growth in understanding came the development of my program – The WorkForce Today – an employment initiative to assist my diagnosed clients move into employment via a course of post-secondary education, internship, and, what I call, “customized workforce planning” – I assist in the job search process by contacting employers on behalf of my client.
So, here we are today. I am so blessed to have come to this place in time, to have the opportunity to work in the field that I am passionate about – assisting others in their job search efforts. Ever since I began working in the field of employment, I’ve always felt that a job search process didn’t have to be as scary an endeavor as so many people often feel. Awareness of, preparation for, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE of the processes are the keys to success. I have found this to be invaluable for spectrum people.
Then, to come to meet people on this spectrum and bring my passion into their worlds has given me an even greater passion! Meeting this population of people led me on to coursework in career development facilitation and job coaching. From where I sit, based on my relationships with people on the spectrum (and their loved ones) I have come to just love this population of people! I’m passionate about expanding the world of employment (and all else that comes with their full life development) for spectrum people.
I’m grateful to be able to say that for every client that I’ve worked with, who has stayed in the program through to the end of their individualized education / employment planning – those who have wanted to gain the awareness and have been willing to do the preparation - there has been 100% success in their achieving their plans.
I have to say that most spectrum people that I have the privilege of interacting with are some of the most motivated people that I have ever met. They give a whole new meaning to the idiom “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” While there are a variety of interpretations to this, what I encounter is best interpreted as:
"When the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge."
I so admire the desire I see to understand the neurotypical world and the stand taken to want the world to open up to embrace the differences and strengths in humans.
Now, I Come To What Seems To Be The “Hardest” Part
For the population of people, with this “hidden disability” there is a worldwide statistic that tells us that approximately 80% of people diagnosed on this spectrum are unemployed, underemployed, or sporadically employed. Employment statistics for other types of “hidden disabilities” are staggeringly high also. That is not okay!
Remember how it goes: “Hello. It’s nice to meet you. What do you do?” My friends and acquaintances on this spectrum want to be able to have an answer to that question that identifies them – just as most of us do! It’s how we fit, where we fit – why we’re here.
A Final Thought
For this spectrum population, the need for educational processes that work, for employment in jobs that are structured for their success, and for organizations who will embrace this population by creating sustaining environments of acceptance of the value of “differences” is truly great; as in extreme.
With such emphasis on the growing statistic of incidence of diagnosis of children on the spectrum, there remains the fact that, worldwide, this adult population is already significant – on their heels come the children of today and the future. Let’s get the ball rolling for the generations in our midst today. That will create success for them and pave the way for those who are coming along.
A “Win-Win” For All !
Who do you know on this spectrum? Is it your beloved child? Is it your granddaughter or grandson, niece or nephew, or a coworker’s or neighbor’s child? In this day and age, almost everyone knows someone that has someone on this spectrum in their life. It hits close to home.
Will you please consider, with me, how you might contribute to the life of someone on this spectrum? The ways are limitless.
Let’s talk! Send me an email and let's get started!
Thanks again for visiting. I hope to hear from you soon!
MAEd, CDF, JCDC
~ coaching neurodiverse adults into the self-determined life they choose ~
Active Living Skills • Career Development • Educational Pursuit • Employment
Asperger’s • High-Functioning Autism • AD(H)D • Dyslexia • Anxiety • PTSD