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How To Be "The Better" Employee: Tips for Adults with Aspergers/High-Functioning Autism

Having a career is rewarding, but if significant work-related problems occur, you could be facing the most critical issue in your life. That is because you need that job – you can’t afford to lose it! There may be problems at work from time to time, either with your supervisor or fellow employees. This is sometimes inevitable given that the workplace is where different co-workers try to get along and meet the company’s expectations.

How to be the "better" employee:

1. Ask your boss what the expectations are. This will immediately make you stand out from 99% of your co-workers.

2. Be at least 10 minutes early every day. That way, if you are running late, you will be on time. Also, if you have to park far away, you will walk in and still not be late.

3. Be careful what you say to new co-workers. Don't air your grievances, frustrations, or interpersonal conflicts – and don't gossip!

4. Be on good terms with the gatekeepers. Secretaries, custodians, bookkeepers, cafeteria workers, etc. are all very important co-workers. They are the experts in their departments. Treat these people with respect, because they hold more power than you know. Your reputation with them matters! Also, don’t hang out with other co-workers who disrespect the gatekeepers.

5. Care about your fellow employees. When did you last praise your peers for a job well done? Good feedback from a co-worker can be of great value. Be friendly and offer your time and energy to help others. Pour them coffee. Pick up their trash. Do positive things for your co-workers, and they will do positive things for you!

6. Detach yourself from you pay check. Your salary is not as important as the quality of work you do. If you don’t think like this, then you are many steps away from being an excellent employee. If you make pay less important, and give it your best, you will be rewarded. If you have accepted a job offer, you have accepted you salary, leave it there.

7. Don’t complain about what's wrong. Instead, start being vocal about what's right! A positive attitude goes a long way with many bosses. When you go to your supervisor with a problem, go with at least one suggestion in mind for a solution. Even if he/she doesn't take your suggestion, you will look like a problem-solver, not a whiner.

8. Don't spend a lot of time on your cell phone. Also, do not accept calls from the front desk unless it is an emergency. If your calls are put through by a secretary, rest assured that she/he will not hesitate to tell others that you get personal calls "all the time."

9. Dress as neatly as your supervisor. Close-toe shoes, full-length slacks, and shirts that don't show cleavage or chest hair are your best bet. When in doubt, don't wear it.

10. Hold your head high and display an attitude of confidence. A calm, self-assured energy will make you stand out from the crowd.

11. Learn to take constructive criticism. It will provide you with valuable ideas about what others expect from you, any weak areas, and what you need to work on first. If your supervisor confronts you in a way that angers you, wait until you calm down, and then ask him/her if the two of you can talk. Tell the supervisor how you felt, but say that you would like to fix the issue and want him/her to talk with you about what needs to be changed.

12. Offer any new co-workers guidance and support. Show them the ropes or offer training tips. Remember how it felt to be the new kid on the block. If you are not sure someone understood something, be willing to ask if he/she needs assistance.

13. Pick your feet up, walk proudly and briskly, and get right to your work. Don't let things drag up to the deadline, and then jump in to get it done quickly at the last minute. It drives your supervisor and co-workers nuts. Gain a reputation for having your act together more so than your co-workers.

14. Stay late, even if it is only 5 minutes. Co-workers notice who runs for the door right at 5:00 pm. One of the best uses of this time is to organize your work space for tomorrow. Take a moment to put away loose papers, empty coffee cups, wipe down surfaces, and locate things you'll need.

15. Take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills, receive training for a different activity, or take a study course paid for by your boss. Cross-training, new skill sets, and further education show that you are intelligent and value life-long learning. If times get tough and some employees are let go, you stand a better chance of keeping your job than those who can only do one thing.

16. Volunteer for projects, and don't worry about who gets credit. Volunteering allows you to choose the part you will play. And if you don't choose, chances are it will be chosen for you. Either way, you'll be responsible for some aspect of the project, so be one of the first to step forward.

17. Whether it's menial and tedious, or tough and high-paying, learn how to do the job well regardless of how difficult you think it might be. Hold yourself to a high standard. Salary is most commonly based on years of experience, your ability to do your job, length of time with the company, and your educational background. If you don't know how to do something, go find out, even if this means learning on your own time.

18. You want to establish a good rapport with your fellow employees (a little chit chat is inevitable – and even desirable), but spending an hour amusing your peers with your previous evening's adventures will not make your supervisor real happy. When one of you is talking a lot, two of you are not working a lot. If your supervisor walks by and two of you are talking, no problem, but wrap up the conversation so that he won't see the same sight on his/her way back. The same goes for a group. If you are part of a group who is talking when the supervisor walks by, discreetly excuse yourself and return to work.

19. Your co-workers know the difference between a person who is fun to work with and a person who is always goofing-off. Fun means a good personality, a joke or two, and a smile. Goofing-off is (a) wasting both your time and your co-workers, (b) being frequently off-task, and (c) often being seen standing in the work station of others instead of in your own.

20. Your supervisor’s opinion is always right to him/her. So if you find something wrong, try to show your supervisor tactfully and without arguing. Use a diplomatic way to show the problem point.

21. Relax and recover. Use your spare time wisely. Work is important, but work to live, do not live to work. Find activities that give you energy. For example:
  • enjoy your friends and family
  • find a hobby you like or focus on your family
  • get enough sleep
  • kiss your spouse
  • read something that inspires you
  • surprise someone with a gift
  • take a walk outside

The employees who keep a business or company going are called the worker bees. It's not easy to become an exemplary worker bee. If it were, every one would be a great employee. But you will never regret making the effort to be the best, because there are exemplary rewards for exemplary effort.

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

Relationship Tips for Male Aspies

In multiple studies, females have been shown to be more intuitive, which makes them more sensitive than males. Studies also reveal that females show more empathy and patience, whereas males are inclined toward problem-solving and are more comfortable with the language of logic than of emotion.

In Western culture, especially, men are taught that it isn't macho to be sensitive and show emotion. Females are given more support to express their feelings than males are.

No matter how macho you are or how lovey-dovey your wife or girlfriend can get, there's always more room for sensitivity and affection. So don't be too shy to break out the emergency “nice-guy kit” every now and then, and get to work.

25 relationship tips for men with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism:

1. Be interesting rather than glued to the TV with a beer in your hand.

2. Compliment her, and tell her you love her at least once a day.

3. Connect with her physically during the day. Kiss her when you wake up, hold her hand sometimes, touch her in non-sexual ways. She'll be nicer to you, and your sex life will improve.

4. Do little day-to-day things that will make her feel taken care of, for example, fill her empty water glass, bring her coffee in bed, or turn down her side of the bed if you go to bed before she does.

5. Don't laugh at her television shows. For some women, watching Oprah or Dr. Phil may be the only “adult conversation” they have in a day.

6. In the course of disagreeing with your wife, what you may fail to realize is that, invariably, you’re wrong. You just are. You’re trying to be right — but failing. You can’t help it. It’s the nature of things. Husbands are bigger, hairier, stronger, and wronger. It’s just a fact that you should just get used to (your wife has!). Also, when you're angry or upset, tell her why. Don't make her guess.

7. Encourage her dreams and help make them come true if you can.

8. Give flowers for NO reason. Daisies picked from a neighboring field will put a smile on her face.

9. Have your own opinions. Females like males who are clear on what they think – and why they think it. Males, though, enjoy ever waffling. Well, waffles are for children. Stop it. Commit to thoughts, ideas, and decisions. Sure, you will be wrong about whatever it is you decide to think – but you’ll be attractively wrong (i.e., wrong, but manly).

10. Help around the house. These days, both partners are usually holding down an outside job. The home chores must be shared. Do so willingly.

11. If your girlfriend comes in during halftime of the super bowl and says something like, “I’ve been thinking about our future together,” then you should turn down the volume on the TV and listen (really!). If anything involves you at a fairly high level and “the two of you” in the long-term, then STOP whatever you're doing and pay attention to the given matter. If you don't, you might unknowingly agree to move out to the country, get a couple goats and a horse, raise 3 kids, and start attending church. Then you'll be in for a long discussion, all because you were too busy watching the Colts lose another championship.

12. If your wife or girlfriend is happy so long as you listen (or pretend to) when she talks, then leave it at that. But if you see that she wants you to be interested and ask many questions, then doing so might save you a lot of future headaches.

13. It would be in your best interest to remember that women have very LONG memories and don't forget easily.

14. Know that if she is a "stay at home" mom, she is doing a huge job and one you would not want. Show appreciation.

15. Learning to be sensitive is something that improves with age. Some males are naturals, while others lack the suave, subtle ways needed to keep their woman happy. In any event, adapt your game plan based on how much affection your wife or girlfriend wants (or needs).

16. Let the kids be your responsibility now and then. That way, she'll get some time for herself for a change.

17. Listen, listen, then listen some more! Put down that newspaper (or TV remote) and let her know your focus is on her. When she tells you her problems, try not to jump in with advice. A sympathetic ear may be all she needs.

18. Ok, this is huge---give her the remote!

19. Plan special evenings for no reason, AND schedule the babysitter.

20. PMS -- don't make light of it, they hate it as much as you hate the moods and outbursts.

21. Remember that your tone does too matter. You know how in arguments with your spouse, you keep thinking that if she would just focus on “what” you are saying instead of on “how” you are saying it, then she would see how right you are? Yeah, well that is never going to happen. She needs to know you still love her as you are yelling at her. Women are weird like that.

22. Stop fidgeting while your spouse is talking to you. It really is rude — and you know it. If you don’t stop doing that, then one day, when your spouse starts talking to you about her day, you’re going to start fiddling with the remote control or something else, and she’s going to suddenly scream and throw a cast iron pot your way.

23. Suggest a walking routine together, not to discuss heavy issues, but to simply spend some time together.

24. Take care of all vehicles. Some men feel if it's the wife's car, then she needs to schedule maintenance on it.

25. When buying gifts, make them special – no appliances unless she is asking for them.

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples


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