Recently I was asked to speak to the Ladner Rotary Club about Asperger’s Syndrome. I gratefully agreed. Any opportunity to spread knowledge about Asperger’s is to be seized and capitalized upon!
The first person I turned to was my daughter, Bev, who is a Special Education Assistant in a large highschool. She also has Asperger’s herself, as does her older son. Between him and me, she sometimes found herself with her hands full!
Ever practical, Bev immediately sized up the situation and decided we should talk about Asperger’s in the workplace.
Here is a brief bit of Bev’s part of the talk:
Bev talked about how anxiety over minor problems can seem overwhelming to someone with Asperger’s. About the difficulty people on the spectrum can have with the inability to remember and recognize co-workers, even after working with them for a considerable time, something Dr. Jim Tanaka of UVic refers to as “face blindness”.
She also talked about how rules and structure are the spectrum person’s comfort zone, how her son said of his job, “They have routine, Mom. Rules, Yes!” And how it was his love of structure and routine that earned him a full time job almost immediately after he started in a temporary position with the company.
People in the spectrum need training and guidance. “Tell us what to do and how to do it,” Bev said, “and we will gladly get the job done.”