55 thoughts on “Why It’s Hard To Keep A Job When You Have Asperger’s

  • September 30, 2015 at 9:20 am

    This was me. In an office setting after I’d had lots of interpersonal stressors piled on each other. This depiction is frighteningly accurate when I think about those months. My supervisor intervened because I had disclosed being in the spectrum, but it was such a tricky scenario to navigate.

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  • September 30, 2015 at 10:40 am

    This describes me exactly, though I have never been diagnosed with Asperger’s, and I’m not sure what “stimming” is. I’ll Google it. I wonder if I’m in this spectrum somewhere. When I’m stressed I do miss social cues and ask too many questions in meetings. People get sick of me after a while. I thought it was my depression. This makes me sad, and seems to offer no positive suggestions. Should I just avoid work relationships and trudge forward, hoping for the best? Ah well. Another mystery.

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  • September 30, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Good to know. Two things I’ve noticed in my students with Asperger’s is that semester end fatigue destroys them more thoroughly than other students, but that they are also more resilient. Fatigue has destroyed them before so, unlike many college students, they already have good recovery skills. Just know the signs, give them room, and they not only know how to get back in the struggle but they have the will.

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    • October 22, 2017 at 10:56 am

      I think this slightly mischaracterizes those with Asperger. I, being on the high end of the IQ bell curve, find that if I can harness my talent of analytical ability and generally keep to myself. I get respect and am left alone. I think as someone with Asperger’s you have to work at honing your special talent. Generally Autistic people have the ability to learn a skill beyond the capability of the generalk population.

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  • September 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    My brother was a 6 week preemie in 1947. He developed retina pathology of prematurity. Though he is legally blind he does have some vision. pinhole vision in the left eye. And a lot of his quirks, we always thought, came from his vision problem. Yet he was pretty good in school (mainstreamed) and occasionally taught a teacher a lesson or three. It was years later that a therapist recognized his behavior as Asperger’s. I’m sure his blindness and Asperger’s are related.
    Right after high school, he began a business of sales and service of electric motors. 48 years, he is still doing it. He is, not surprisingly, a genius at it. He’s also a good musician BTW. These talents both started at about 3 yrs of age.
    My brother never gives his parents credit for any thing they did, which was a lot, I think to my detriment. He still insists that they wanted him to go work for one of the companies in town. I can understand that because my parents were born during WWI and had the Depression and WWII etc to live through. Security was important.
    Only, knowing the companies involved and my brother’s demand for honesty, I don’t think he’d last a week, maybe not even a day. He doesn’t make much money. He still hasn’t figured out that he is supposed to be making a salary from his business, but he goes at his own pace, is his own boss, and can be honest to his customers, whether they are good or bad. (Out the door or through it.)
    It did take a lot of support to get him where he is and with our parents gone and I am out of town, he has had to make adjustments. But by golly, he can be SO stubborn. (Not that I am like that at all.) He won’t use the taxi and other such assistance. He also has a lot of trouble sometimes, helping me. He has friends all over the three counties (or more) but he can’t get a ride down to me? His friend will take him to a village about 7 miles away, but they can’t seem to get here. Must be related to his son.

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  • October 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    This was me exactly when I was younger. I would go from one job to another. I work from home now so I don’t have to deal with office politics so I haven’t felt the need to quit in the last 6 years. If I had to work in an office I definitely would have quit years ago!

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  • April 5, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This is so accurate. I just had an interview for a job today; I did fine, I’ve never had a problem getting a job, but in the back of my mind it’s like Why bother? You know how it’s going to end up.

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    • April 5, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      A lot of the time it’s easier to get a job than to keep it. I know what you mean though. The older I get, the more I realize that a lot of the problem is in our minds.

      Good luck!

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    • October 2, 2017 at 1:43 am

      My life exactly.

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    • December 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Hello Daydream

      I have lost my job yesterday just like the 20+ jobs that I have lost in the pass. I’m amazing in interviews. Even H-R reaction is pure amazement and entertaining. But once I start working at the job, small errors pile up and Huge errors occur that a neurotically would never do. As time progressives I feel overwhelm , tired and demotivated. I never seem to make the grade.
      Damn disease/disorder/mental illness (what ever you want to call it) this has been a huge battle for me that as cost me relationships-friendly and romantic , it as cost me jobs and financial hard ache. I’ve always been seen as the strange person that no one understands and tries to avoid. F**k I’m tired of being seen like this. I ‘m stuck with this for the rest of my life.

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      • September 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        This post really hit me hard ita almost like I was reading a story about myself to be honest. I have very mild autism/aspergers whatever people want to label us I couldnt care less anymore but I know Im about to get fired from my job just like th last 20+ as well I hate being like this to the point where I wish I was never born. Its like you said you’re good during interviews and everything but once you start a job all the mistakes just pile up then they get sick of you and fire you. I am always seen as the strange one to thr one that everybody avoids and couldnt give a fuck about. I have only had really one close friend all my life cause honesty I dony like the majority of people nobody gives a fuck anymore nobody trys to understand why you cant do the job as good as everyonr else I just got sent home today I work at a dog kennel (pays next to nothing btw) and I was putting the dogs beack and forgot to put the hooks on some of the cages this always happens though and then somehow I dont even remember I put a dog in the wrong room. I just constantly ask myself what the fuck is wromg with me? Why is my short term memory so bad?? Im 25 and still live at home as well have no idea what i want to do but working with people always ends bad for me every single time.

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      • October 9, 2018 at 5:50 pm

        Well this is really depressing to read as the mom of a 17 yo boy with ASD as he is in the process of losing his third job. Have any of you had occupational therapy? Are there any resources out there to help you? He was just formally diagnosed last year and I feel like I am floundering, not doing enough to help him. Mental health resources are severely lacking for those on the higher end of the spectrum.

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      • June 4, 2019 at 5:28 pm

        I have compassion for your frustration. I recently found a book that may be helpful:
        Living Well on the Spectrum: How to Use Your Strengths to Meet the Challenges of Asperger Syndrm/High-functioning Autism by author Valerie Gaus.

        Reply
  • April 28, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I’ve worked at Raleys for 8 fucking years and my boss never liked me cuz of my aspergers. She fucking treated everyone else with respect and treated me like shit. She is one of those Thumb Up Her Ass types. Yup, a fucking bitch. I hated her. The cunt never gave me a fucking chance to get promoted move to other departments. A whole group of people, even me got interviewed for cashier job, they all got the job it but me. I was fucking pissed. Then I worked the graveyard shift cuz she thought itd be easy. Then, she had all the others do the ordering, I really wanted to order but she would fucking let me. So i fucking quit! Fuck Raleys and fuck my boss, the cunt.

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    • April 28, 2016 at 3:18 am

      That sucks man. I’ve seen a lot of us get held back. My friend wanted to be a server or at least a busboy. But he got stuck washing dishes for four years.

      I know a guy who pushes carts. He likes it. I don’t know if cashiers get paid significantly more, but he doesn’t have to talk to people and he gets moved around a lot. I’ve also seen aspies selling electronics.

      Oh, and cussing is fine. But I’d avoid “bitch” and “cunt.” A lot of guys with autism get like that about women and it never does anyone any good.

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      • June 4, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        Your supportive words for Brian are so calming, respectful and wise to read. Thank you.

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  • September 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write this. This is the recurring nightmare of my adult life – my “career” trajectory. I am just about to launch into a new career – going into grad school for it. I’ve done my best to choose wisely, based on past experience. I’ll do my best to manage. But I am worried that this will happen again – I worry when fellow students or profs will start giving me that look. I don’t have an official diagnosis, and it is very possible that would make people think I am unfit for this career – though I myself think I can find a niche and do well (I hope!) I have crashed and burned so many times – in work places as well as the multiple times I have gone to school. And yet…..we need to support ourselves, we need to work, so we need to keep trying. It is so heartening just to see my reality expressed so well here – it is nice to know I am not alone.

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    • January 2, 2017 at 3:13 am

      Update: Unfortunately, I was right. I burned out, and I had to quit. Back to the job search, with that nagging, “who will hire me at this point” mixed with “what’s the point, I’ll burn out as usual….”

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    • June 4, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      It has been a few years since you posted your comments. I hope you found your career path to be not just suitable but deeply fulfilling as well. I sought the help of a psychologist when I became tired of hitting the proverbial wall with employment challenges. The information provided some information about what conditions to avoid and what employment conditions could be one’s I could manage if not be successful doing. I just discovered a book Living Well on the Spectrum: How To Use YOur Strengths…….authorValerie L. Gaus that offers some promising understanding for me. I have not purchased or read it yet, but I hope to do so.

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  • February 6, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    This is me… up to the phrase, “And then it gets harder.” My “problem” is not slowing down or making mistakes. It’s the jealousy from “certain women” (because I do a GREAT job and get LOADS of kudos from my Manager/above) who never seem to change, no matter the job… and the bullying these biatches always start doing. I do the “meek” thing for so long and then… well, I’m an Aspie and so the “brutal” honesty comes out: “No, I DON’T agree with you/that,” “Sorry, I DON’T feel comfortable doing/saying that,” “Yes, I did/created/formulated/complete that BY MYSELF.”

    I can no longer count the jobs. I have a JD and have been in a job I LOVE for the past 3 years. But, now, because of these same “mean girls”… who not only can’t wait to “run and tell” some LIE… and now the next IDIOT boss who BELIEVES them (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the “I have to admit I don’t see it – I think you’re a FANTASTIC employee and doing a FANTASTIC job… but you seem to be the ‘common denominator'”… well, y’THINK? I’ve been telling you almost since the beginning that these SAME WOMEN are giving me grief. I even told you before I TOOK the job that I didn’t want to waste your OR my time and that if something wasn’t done, I shouldn’t take the job… and you PROMISED that you would do something… BECAUSE I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO’S SHARED THESE SAME CONCERNS WITH YOU!”).

    Sorry folks. Just tired of the BS. My boss KNOWS these women are bullying me AND others. BUT… they do most of her work so she HEAVILY relies on them. They really do make her look good to upper Management (although, so do I)… but her primary concern is that everyone on her team “get along.” Translation: don’t rock any boats by disagreeing with any of the mean girls.

    And I am not alone. One of my peers was forced into early retirement, another to “voluntarily” self-terminate, and another (a fellow Aspie, I’m certain of it) was just terminated (for STUPID reasons… including the way she styled her hair. Her HAIR!??). Thankfully, she IS brilliant and has mentors and supports in much higher places that called Boss-Lady to task and so the termination was rescinded. I don’t have any mentors here. Not sure if I have supporters. Might. Might not, people can be so fickle.

    Sorry for the rant, but I am SO… tired of it.

    Anyway, I came here to discuss whether I should disclose my AS to my Manager and ask for an accommodation (i.e., not having to deal with these vipers – I don’t much, but that doesn’t stop their attempts to drive in MY land (“I used to have YOUR job, so I KNOW what needs to be done!” “Yeah, SHE knows (better than you!) what needs to be done!” and on and on!). I have an application in for another position within the (VERY large) organization that I work for and am 50/50 whether to stay or leave. I am TIRED of leaving after being bullied for being “different/quirky/we don’t ‘get’ you!” But I really like my job. And I am paid VERY well (6 figures, but that’s been my history for some time – I am almost 60 and have a JD)

    But… it’s just a job. Right? And the new one would be similar as well as pay more.

    I would like input from another AS, though, if anyone cares to comment. I have learned, to the best of MY ability, to put on the corporate “look” and do an excellent to superior job. That has NEVER been a problem. I have NEVER had less than an “outstanding” performance review. But I am truly tired of the bullying. I’m just too old, now. I am no longer a school girl or young, immature woman.

    Any thoughts? And thanks (for listening and/or responding, if you do).

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    • February 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Aw man. I feel for you. I’ve had catty coworkers too. Maybe if the transfer to another position in your company doesn’t happen it might be a good idea to quietly disclose to your boss since you know she thinks you’re an asset to the team. There’s also a good chance she sees there’s something a bit off about you. She just might not know what it is.

      Best of luck! I hope it works out!

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      • February 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm

        Thank you, Gwendolyn – I am compiling my “case” now, just in case I do disclose. I will have a copy of my formal diagnosis as well as some “Employer” info for her. I have also documented ALL of the bullying incidents (which she now knows I have after our last “discussion” where I was told I was “the common denominator”). I am certain she’s told the “mean girls” because now I get the “evil eye” but no words – LOL!). I don’t care about that – I DO care about the “air” now, though. Startin’ to feel a “hostile” environment coming on, which I have historically run from (resigned and changed jobs). I am tired of resigning and running, though. At some point, a girl has to stay put, if she can.

        Again, thank you – I will research this a bit more, discuss with my doctor tomorrow, and then make a decision whether to disclose or not (and stay or leave if I do). I will let you know how it goes, if you folks don’t mind my sharing here.

        AGuest

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      • February 6, 2017 at 2:59 pm

        Sure! I’ve never actually disclosed on a job….would like to hear how it goes.

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    • February 8, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      I am 47 and have had over 30 jobs since turning 17. I have chosen to just stop looking since I either dont get the interview,or I am fired. Fired always came after three months. I can only imagine what my life would have been like had I been able to keep my job. I would have avoided 1 bk and a home foreclosure.

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  • February 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Forgot to check the “Notify me of followup comments” box. Typing too fast… as usual…

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    • February 6, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Please disregard my over-punctuating. It’s one of my “quirks” and I can’t seem to overcome it, sorry.

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      • June 30, 2018 at 1:35 pm

        I do that, too! I’ve never known someone else confess to the same quirk as me! Your punctuation is perfect. I find badly punctuated prose very distracting.

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      • September 24, 2018 at 10:47 am

        Yeah, poor punctuation or the lack of it altogether makes me very nervous, on two fronts:

        1. I’m not a good mind reader so I’m not always sure of the tone OR intent; and

        2. I’ve had several experiences where the author will state she (and its always the shes – as a she, too, all I can do is sigh…) meant one thing/tone one day and another under different circumstances.

        I think a lot of folks omit punctuation in order to be vague (and so can change things up if pressed) as much as those who simply don’t have a good grasp.

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  • March 2, 2017 at 4:27 am

    This article highlights a common problem but does nothing to help the situation. Some ideas or examples of how to avoid or reduce the issues would be useful. Or working environments or jobs which might be easier for those with Aspergers.

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  • May 11, 2017 at 8:42 am

    THIS is the reason why it is so hard for me to keep a job. Like I’ve had employment for several months, then I get severely burnt out especially when there’s no escape from work stress at home. Like I live with my partner and when I get off work, she dumps all these tasks and other things on me so I get no time to rest to get my energy back so I ended up snippy, cranky and mad all the time. Like right now I don’t have a job and I feel like it might take a year or two before I find another one. Interviews are a nightmare. I’m so socially awkward as an aspie that I know they can sense something is off and I think it is why the last interview I had, they didn’t hire me. On top of that, some employers require driver’s licences and I never got one because driving looks like a bunch of stress to deal with. But yes this article is spot on. It’s true. It’s what we deal with as adults with autism.

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  • May 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Wow, thanks for the pep talk. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go out shopping for cyanide.

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    • August 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

      I think the writer was writing to give a better understanding of the world we live in. I didn’t see it as a pep talk or down talk. I saw it as “Hey, you are not alone. It is an Asperger thing. If you haven’t figure it out, this is the reason why you maybe failing at job after job”. I have walked this road and just now (I’m post 50) why I keep failing at jobs. It is not that I an a good person of=r that I don’t know my stuff. It is because I am “acting” everyday when I go to work. When I get tired or overwhelmed I can’t keep the “act” up very well.

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    • December 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      … Me too!

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  • June 7, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    This is me to the t. I am now on my 30th job and while I am very smart but because I am considered slow because the others catch on faster, I have been given my two weeks. The others may be faster at learning but I am the one with the MOST results YET I am doomed because of my slow learning.

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  • September 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    After 30 years of being doped up, after having voltage blasted through my skull, and after endless hours of therapy that went nowhere, I am getting tired of it all. I have a PhD in chemistry. As a student, I did exceptionally well academically. However, socially, I was an outcast. Every endeavor starts off well, but ends horribly. The description you provided fits me to a “T” as someone pointed out. But, I am beyond that. I know my past. I know the present. However, I don’t know what the future holds for me. My degree is worthless. I cannot find a job to support myself. In desperation, I have been searching high and low to get me beyond. Now, I don’t see a future for me. No one should have to go through what I have been through. Nothing makes sense. I cannot awake myself from this nightmare.

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  • September 27, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    I just got fired today for my Aspie traits. When she hired me my manager loved me. She literally hired me on the spot. However things quickly went downhill. I was given minimal training and was left to figure out a vast product knowledge base on my own. Which was fine, as being Aspie gives me the ability to absorb and retain a lot of information and dry facts. The real problems were in that I just couldn’t pick up on the unwritten social codes. It always seemed like I was saying the wrong thing. I was left to my own devices much of the time, with no clear direction on what I was supposed to be doing. I couldn’t pick up on the nuance. I was frequently bored and stir crazy.
    I did sense that everyone had cooled off and was avoiding me but I had no idea why. My manager accidentally sent me a text where she was talking about me to someone else and she called me ‘clueless’.
    Today she fired me. It is just as well. I had wanted to quit several times and had planned to give notice as soon as possible. Still, it stings to be told you are not wanted.

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    • September 30, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      @LadyinRed,
      You are not alone. I am in the process of getting a job and, to be frank, it is very depressing. As I scout online, I constantly think about my past employment history. Every job that I have had matches your current situation. Things start off great and then take a turn for the worst. My melodramatic post (the one immediately preceding yours) was inspired by reading “must have exceptional communication skills” in the job description for every job posting I have seen thus far.
      On the positive side, I know that I am intelligent, hardworking, tactical, and productive. Give me a project. Not only will I complete it, I will do so with excellence. Although I cannot speak on behalf of everyone with Asperger’s, I do recognize a common trend. That is, we are just as competent as any other person. Unfortunately, employers and coworkers (people in general with no knowledge of Asperger’s) have difficulty looking beyond our inability to communicate effectively. From my own experience, my inability to communicate effectively can make people uncomfortable. Once this happens, their impressions of me get branded into their minds. Consequently, a mighty and indestructible barrier begins to erect about me. When I lose my job, I am left with loneliness and the sense of hopelessness.
      A while back, I was applying for a job as a lecturer at a nearby college. When I asked for a letter of recommendation from one of my professors, he told me that I would make for a much better scientist than a lecturer. I understood exactly what he meant. He recognized my outstanding performance in the research lab, but he was also fully aware of my inability to communicate effectively.
      At this point, I have become fully aware that I have Asperger’s. I have been treated for major depression and social anxiety for many, many years. My treatment was going nowhere. In any case, the original post was excellent in helping people discover or relate to life with Asperger’s. In my search to get me beyond my current situation, I frequently come across ways to identify oneself with Asperger’s, symptoms of Asperger’s, some support groups, etc. The next step is “What to do now?” or “How can I get employment and support myself?” Have I reached the end of the line?
      So, @LadyinRed, this sounds all so negative, and I don’t want to discourage you in anyway. You want to work and very much so, or else you would not have posted your losing your job. Continue to look for employment. And I wish you luck and hope you find something where you can prosper and live a peaceful life. And for many of us struggling with Asperger’s, I believe we are searching for the same thing: a peaceful life.

      Reply
  • October 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I’m an Autism Support Teacher and worry about my students. They’re on the spectrum in gen ed classes. Do you have any suggestions for building resiliency, motivation, and other skills that’ll help in the workplace?

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  • March 7, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Thank you for posting this article it is such an accurate description of my own experience. I was diagnosed later in life, and it was a tremendous relief to figure out what was going on. Navigating the landmines, political territory of workplaces is nearly impossible when there are no clear road markings. This week I went to HR and asked for accommodations to help communication across my department, but even as I did it, I understood outing myself wasn’t going to change the minds of people that don’t value my contribution or heal the water under the bridge on both sides of the communication divides

    The HR meeting was followed by a new employee at the work place calling a supervisor in to rip me in two about an email that I wrote about a mistake she made when I was sleep deprived from stress. I found myself weeping, groveling, sobbing saying I had a neurological disorder that made me obtuse while she glared at me as if I was lying. There was a real threat to my job and the new employee let me know by that passive aggression how the work place was going to be. Just another layer of despair, despite 2 years of excellent work. They will promote her, pass me over, after I train her after she establishes that she is the queen of our cubicles. I can’t play the game and it has destroyed my career

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  • March 19, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I’ve realised in hindsight that this was why I was so utterly un-cut-out to be a teacher! Students loved me and always wanted to be around me, which was exhausting (I had students *requesting* lunchtime detentions!) and I was an excellent teacher. But I couldn’t play the political games or keep up with the endless paperwork. I pointed out errors of management in staff meetings, thinking I was being helpful, but was actually just making enemies who quickly turned into bullies. I burned out and started losing my hair due to stress. My mum had cancer in another city and I requested two days unpaid leave, was told not to even bother. So I left, and my principal told me “if you resign, I’ll personally make sure you never work again.” She failed, but I have realised teaching is not for me.

    Now I’m looking for a career that I can work part-time and still make a decent living. I think we need more down time than most people to thrive in a job, so I’m trying to build that into my career.

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  • March 21, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Something I have seen in family members (with the same Aspergers genetics), is that we have great difficulty with being criticised. And just like panic attacks, the fear of criticism can be as bad as actual criticism.

    Everyone makes mistakes but I feel we (generalising…) don’t cope with the idea. I’m lucky that I have a tech job where, after a few painful months of learning the ropes, mistakes are rare for me.

    I’ve had jobs where one instance of criticism has me taking off my uniform and storming off, leaving for good. Because further criticism would be unbearable. It’s not logical, I just can’t help feeling that way. It is highly frustrating.

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    • March 22, 2018 at 10:01 am

      I believe one aspect of Aspergers (perhaps the most important aspect or most crippling aspect of Aspergers) is sensory overload. Looking back in the past, I have learned bad input (such as negative criticism) exacerbates our emotions more so than people without Aspergers.

      For example, my mom is in very poor health in a nursing home and could pass away any day now. Over a week ago, I sent a text message to all of my siblings stating that my mom should have an order of morphine available to comfort her during her last moments. (In fact I brought this to my siblings’ attention many weeks ago). All siblings agreed. My brother (who is in charge of making medical decisions on my mother’s behalf) said he would ask the case manager and take care of it. Well, after sometime had passed with no order for morphine, I texted my brother to ask what was the holdup. He replied by saying “Fuck you! Why don’t you do it?” This was a week ago and I am still shaking from his reply. Before going to sleep, I have to drink a beer in the evening to keep my feelings under control – and I don’t drink!

      That is sensory overload. Another sibling told me to remain calm and forget about my brother, but those feelings have been permanently branded into my mind. Had my brother replied “I forgot. I will call the case manager tomorrow”, I wouldn’t be suffering like I am suffering now.

      So, I don’t hear much about sensory overload with Aspergers, but I see the trend.

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  • April 19, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    My mom passed away over the weekend. My siblings and I are taking it hard, but I am having a much harder time. I have been going crying fits every night and during the day I walk around feeling like a zombie. It’s normal to grieve over the death of one’s mother, but not to the extent that I am grieving. My cousins from out of town came to the funeral. I tried hard to talk with them, but every conversation ended awkwardly. I have come to the conclusion that I am unemployable. I have nothing. There is something very wrong. I don’t understand.

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    • April 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      So sorry to hear about your lose. Know there is no one way to grieve. Do it in whatever way feels healthy for you. Remember that loving yourself is the only true thing you need to put energy towards.

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      • April 23, 2018 at 9:04 pm

        Very true. Thank you.

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    • May 1, 2018 at 4:20 am

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mom…there is no right
      Or wrong way to grieve the loss of a loved one…let what ever you feel come as it needs too…death is so very hard on all of us…no exceptions to that rule…go easy on yourself and allow the grieving process to play out.. be well…and again so sorry for your loss!

      Reply
  • April 22, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Im currently in therapy and seeking an asbergers/ asd diagnosis. The article describes my work life almost earily accurately. This job started off great, but am now given more and more menial tasks and feel as if I’m losing grip on reality while at work. Some days I would rather be silent, in my own world but am forced to converse so I don’t seem too “out there.” I worry my co workers think I’m crazy when I’m having a silent meltdown at work.

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    • April 23, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      I am at the stage where I have the diagnosis, but I am seeking treatment. My doctor has me on some meds – mostly for depression. I have tried therapy several times, but it didn’t work for me. I can’t think of any other treatment. This desperation has gotten me by the throat. Please share your experience with therapy. It may work for me or others here. It would be great for people to share treatments that worked for them. Although diagnosis of Asperger’s is somewhat straightforward, there seems to be a lack of treatment – especially for adults.

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  • May 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    I am a drug and alcohol counsellor and social care worker. A substance misuse worker. I love my job and I’m excellent at it. I don’t think people should fear being honest about their autism because it doesn’t stop me being good at my job. It never has done. I’ve had some scrapes but I’ve had good guidance. Some employers are good.

    Reply
    • June 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      I have been to a “social get together” for people with Asperger’s and from what I gather, Asperger’s manifests itself in many ways and to varying degrees in different people. Some people with Asperger’s are vocal and seem to get along fine with the general population. At times they may say things that are not relevant or appropriate to a conversation, but they are confident and don’t care how people react towards them. In my case, I remain quiet – an approach that I have been employing since grade school. Unfortunately, I use avoidance as a coping mechanism – probably not the best strategy. I can speak well one-on-one, but when it comes to speaking with or to larger groups of people, anxiety gets a hold of me and I bury my head in the ground like an ostrich. (Actually ostriches do not put their head in the ground when frightened. It’s a myth.)

      In any case, you seem to have a great boss that sees and appreciates your potential as an employee. But it seems that these people are few and far between. A counselor once told me to let my college mentor know about my having Asperger’s. When I did that, he avoided me at all costs. Despite the fact that it is 2018, many people are still prejudice and view any type of mental aberration as weird or evil or whatever nonsense that enters their minds. The stigma is still very well ingrained in the minds of many, many people. Even my cousins have a hard time with me once they discovered that I am taking medication.

      The bottom line is this: I agree with being upfront with employers (and people in general) about my having Asperger’s, but I do so with caution. This is just my two cents.

      Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    I am undiagnosed, but everything I am reading is providing me answers that I didn’t know needed answering because I thought this was all normal. This article actually helped me tremendously, I keep discovering answers to unasked questions about situations I have encountered or experienced and it is helping me make sense and navigate much better. THANK YOU

    Reply
    • June 19, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Yes, Stephanie, my experience is so similar to what you describe in your post. I am very recently self-diagnosed, and my understanding of the pain, suffering, and confusion in my life over decades especially in the real work of employment, and to a certain extent socially, has been so liberating and healing. I resonate strongly to many posts here and thank each person for your contributions. It helps me immensely to feel others like yourselves may understand and to share similar experiences and challenges rather than feeling so alone and isolated. All the best always to everyone.

      Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I’m 52 years old and haven’t held a job down for longer than 2 years… And that’s when I was younger.

    I have been homeless multiple times because I can’t financially, take care of myself and I’m at the point of giving up.

    I ace the interview, I’m a hard worker but I just can’t get along or bond with my co-workers…or anyone else for that matter. I can’t keep a relationship. I despise my family and I really, like being alone.

    The hardest part, is that I don’t know how to be flexible, everything turns into a debate and what’s worse is – – I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong.

    How am I supposed to survive?!

    Reply
    • May 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Joan,

      I know how you feel!
      I am 52 and have had the almost the same outcomes as you.

      I am an eternal optimist so I never give in or up. I just am.

      I too have great difficulty bonding and such at work. Then add backstabing and all the “normal” nonsense ppl do on a daily basis and starving and homelessness almost pale in comparison.

      It sucks…..it does.

      Having a place to live is crucial to safety and sanity.

      Try to get SSDI if possible and work PT. Working FT is not always optimal for Aspies.

      Living in a tiny apt or extended stay hotel can work. Extended stay is very good but double of what a tiny studio apt costs.

      I mastered living in a 200sq ft studio apt I got for $600 month. Very small but it works for me and electric, water and trash are included.

      I know it difficult but you can do it!

      Save a bit to start a business….that is key for us Aspies/HFA.

      Working for ourselves can and does work out ok if we have things written out well and follow them…..

      Hopefully, you see my post and respond as well!

      Reply
    • June 19, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Hello, Joan, I hope you can find all the support you need to make a strong positive difference in your life. That has made a difference in my life. All the best to you, always.

      Reply
 

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