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Showing posts from November, 2011

Employment Concerns, Autistic vs Normal

I worry about my job. I also wonder how much of this concern is reasonable, what might be considerer normal for any probationary employee, and how much of my concern is unreasonable.

While many today are worried about job security due to the economy, I worry about my job because of my personality.

Fifteen to 17 percent of adults with ASDs work full-time, according to a U.K. study (2007). Other researchers have found similar trends. Even those of us with doctorates struggle with employment in academia (Diament 2005). Outside technology fields, the world is less than welcoming (Anthes 1997).

We are attending college, obtaining degrees, and ending up unemployed. It is a struggle to finish college, and yet that only marks the beginning. We love the success stories of students with ASDs in college (Erb 2008). Those stories don't answer the "what next" question. A U.C. Berkeley study found adults with ASDs struggle with unemployment:
— Almost all participants … reported le…

Surgery Monday and Catching Up

I have minor surgery on Monday to address a problem that has been recurring for several years. A few years ago, the problem made Christmas a bit complicated — I was planning to get my wife a gift and ended up in the hospital that day. This year, I'll be having surgery the day before a guest arrives to stay with us for a few days.

My wife and I need things to settle down for a few weeks so we can gather ourselves and relax. Neither of us has a "laid back" personality. We are both perfectionists. We both feel like we are always falling behind, even while we finish tasks ahead of colleagues. Being a perfectionist is hard work and emotionally draining.

Surgery comes right as I'm dealing with some issues at work. It also comes as we are trying to fix up our existing house enough to put it on the market next summer. There always seems to be more to do than is possible, but that's because we think of everything as important.

I want the classes I teach to be "per…

Moving (Again) and Home Owner Stress

We will be moving again in April, if things go according to plan. This will be our fourth move in the last five to six years. That might not sound like a lot of moving, but moving is stressful for everyone and extra stressful for two people with a need for order and routines.

Moving is a lousy experience. Things get damaged, misplaced, and general disorder reigns. We lost four desks in moves, including two I really liked. We were never compensated for those loses, either, with bothers me. I end up attached to desks (and other things). Desks are where we work. I write at my desks and they become part of my routine. I still have the desk my family purchased for me in high school (if not earlier — I cannot recall).

After we move, I do plan to replace both my computer and writing desks with a single desk. Sure, it won't be perfect, but I want to consolidate my work area. Plus, I want space for a scanner and other things I use frequently. (I like to scan books and documents for the te…

Autistics Speaking Day

Someone sent me a note asking why I didn't participate in National Autistics Speaking Day. The simple truth is, I'm not home on Tuesdays and don't have much time for anything outside my university duties on that day. I teach until 9 p.m. and don't get home until late.

I thought about writing something a day or two earlier, but I'm swamped with university projects, teaching, freelance writing, and a never-ending series of household-related tasks. I'm more than a little overwhelmed lately. I have to fit in a surgery this month, too, while staying somewhat on track.

So, here are my thoughts for "Autistics Speaking" as I glance at my new dry-erase board featuring a list of to-do items:

1. I am a "success" neither because of nor in spite of my "autistic" traits. I am a success because my wife, parents, extended family, and friends help me and I try to help them when I can. Success is a team effort, whether you're "normal"…