Most people would consider their employment successful if it involved something they like to do, are good at it, and if it brings fulfillment. The same holds true for people with autism, except perhaps to a greater extreme. One of the characteristics of autism is an extremely diverse set of strengths and challenges.В For example, a person with autism may have such skill in mathematics that they can tell you how old you are – in seconds, rather than years. However, that person may be significantly challenged navigating the complicated social maze that make up most working situations such as dealing with office politics.
As a teenager, working as a busboy was my first вЂњrealвЂќ job. Although I was excited to be employed and approached the task of cleaning tables with much enthusiasm, there were two major challenges making the job unsuitable. One was sensory related and the other was social.
A restaurant is a fast-paced, busy, noisy environment. As a result I would go into a sort of sensory overload and shut down resulting in my working very slowly, which was not appreciated by my supervisors…
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