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Young Aspergers Adults and Independent Living

This post is written to help young Aspergers (high functioning autism) adults make the most of their abilities and increase their self-reliance and self-confidence.

Yes, you can take control of your life and live independently while fulfilling your dreams and enjoying each day, one day at a time.

1. Always look for the bright spot in everything. But be careful though, because staying positive isn’t the same as settling for whatever comes your way and not aspiring for more. Your happiness and optimism can be both a blessing and a curse. Although you can remain happy despite most of your problems, sometimes you may adapt too much! Adapting as a form of “giving up” is NOT a good thing.

2. Be dependable and punctual. Dependability and punctuality are skills that are learned through trial and error. Aspies who learn to be dependable make their employers happy and get raises and promotions.

3. Be open to new experiences and opportunities. While living alone, you may find yourself complaining that you come face-to-face with major life-changing decisions too frequently (e.g., where to go to school, how to find a better job, when to ask that special person out for a date, etc.). But you won’t accomplish all that you are able to if you are closed to all these experiences. You may have many “firsts” (e.g., first time living alone, your first bank account, your first time spending your birthday away from home, etc.), but all of these experiences are helping you to develop emotional muscles that you would never develop otherwise. And with stronger emotional muscles, confidence and an enjoyment for life begin to grow.

4. Be respectful to others. This is a tough skill for some Aspies to learn. Often they feel that those who deserve respect are those people they like - and no one else. They need to learn that although you may not like someone, that someone deserves your respectful attitude just for the sake of their being and the place that someone has in your life. When you learn to have a respectful attitude towards all others, it becomes easier for you when you work with those who may have different values.

5. Have a positive attitude. It is not possible to truly remain positive all of the time. But if one learns to look for the positive when faced with adversity, instead of wallowing in the negative, one is more likely to find a way to be as positive as possible. You can learn to look for - and strive to achieve - positive outcomes. Then you can use this skill to help you find and keep a job you enjoy.

6. Have a solid work ethic. Working is just that, getting a task completed. When you learn to see a job through until it is done - and done well - you build more confidence and are better able to handle the next task given to you. This skill leads to positive outcomes in the workplace and at home.

7. Keep your faith. When life knocks you down to your knees, remember you’re in the perfect position to pray! During difficult times, you will become more attune to your relationship with God. Every day, wake up and thank Him that you are still alive and doing well. When everything else seems bleak, your faith will keep you strong.

8. Keep yourself busy! Loneliness will get to you, eventually. Coping with loneliness is a very important skill on your list of needed independent living skills, because every Aspie I've ever known has needed it. Aspies who know how to recognize loneliness as the temporary feeling it is (a) use their support system, (b) work through their loneliness, and (c) do just fine in the long run.

9. Know how to problem-solve. When faced with a problem, there are people who ignore them, people who fall apart, and then there are people who look for and find solutions. An Aspie who learns to be the type who looks for solutions will be happier with their chosen career and place of employment.

10. Learn to deal and get along with all kinds of people. Living alone can get you in all different kinds of situations, and in those adventures, you will encounter people from all walks of life. Be interested in them – and learn from them

11. Make yourself happy by doing what you love. If your personal life is messed up, and so is your family life, you might as well try to salvage it by having a good professional working life. At least this one, you have some sort of control over. Money is definitely a necessity, but find the time to do whatever makes you happy during weekends, holidays or after work!

12. Recognize that being alone does not equal being lonely. Being comfortable with being by yourself is part of having a healthy attitude. Have some positive “alone-time” activities. Reading, drawing, journaling, crafting and listening to music are activities that you can enjoy by yourself without feeling lonely.

Jobs for Aspergers Adults Who Prefer to Work Alone

Good jobs for grown-ups with Aspergers (high functioning autism) can vary depending on the person, but in general, careers where the individual can work alone are sometimes better.

Below are 7 careers that may be better suited for "Aspies" who don’t like to socialize:

1. Accountant: While just about any position will require some amount of face-time with co-workers and clients, accountants find themselves diving into a spreadsheet more often than reaching for a cell phone. With plenty of financial data and tax information to digest, chit-chat time is at a minimum. The U.S Department of Labor predicts a 22 percent increase in job opportunities for accountants and auditors through 2018.

2. Actuary: Risk assessment is the name of the game for actuaries, who spend their days analyzing the habits of people and companies. Instead of talking with people, though, their work is based on statistics. Employment of actuaries is expected to jump 21 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

3. Budget Analyst: Similar to accountants, budget analysts help organizations increase profits by improving efficiency. But the bulk of their time is often spent working independently while compiling and crunching numbers. Budget analysts are projected to enjoy a 15 percent increase in jobs through 2018, according to the Department of Labor.

4. Computer Programmer: It's not uncommon to see computer programmers listening to music while coding. Telecommuting is also an option at some companies. If you can write the code (which isn't easy) many tech managers might be happy to leave you alone. Job opportunities are expected to soar 22 percent for computer programmers and software engineers through 2018, according to the Department of Labor.

5. Forensic Science Technician: Although crime scene investigators have to deal with people, it's often just dealing with their hair, tissue, or DNA samples. When not collecting evidence, working in a laboratory setting is most common for forensic scientists. Jobs for forensic science technicians are expected to grow 20 percent through 2018, according to the Department of Labor.

6. Medical Transcriptionist: Petty office politics and gossip don't easily reach the ears of medical transcriptionists, who wear headphones while transcribing dictated recordings from doctors and other health care pros. A no-nonsense, buttoned-up approach can help since you'll be editing reports for grammar and clarity. Many MT's work at home or off-site from their clients.

7. Writer: Writing is a solitary process. The ability to block out distractions and stay focused is essential in this career. Marketing is one industry where writers and copywriters are in demand. The Department of Labor expects salaried writing positions to increase as the economy strengthens. Online media outlets are driving many of these writing opportunities.

  • Adrian siad... You might consider adding Private Investigator to that list..
  • Anonymous said... I work as a medical transcriptionist but I have suffered major discrimination while working in that role, at least when working in a team of other medical transcriptionists. It is okay when you are by yourself though.

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